Some of the funniest and most bizarre news stories printed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Erotic misdemeanours in an Irish bean-field, the recipe for a frog barometer fresh from the French court, a parrot convicted of heresy and burnt at the stake in Spain and a Dutch stage effect for ejecting a wig (by means of a spring) during Hamlet's ghost scene are just some of the masterpieces of understated journalism collected by Francis Cox and contained in his Fragmenta. At ninety-four volumes, Cox's scrapbook has to be one of the largest collections of journalistic ephemera ever. For sixty years during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries he accumulated articles on everything from duels to playhouses, and foreign travel to warfare. Simon Murphy has selected the funniest and most bizarre to create an historical miscellany which will intrigue and delight.