Banvard's Folly
Published May 2001
Banvard's Folly book cover

Writer Dave Eggers chose a detail of a Cellarius Ptolemaic Planetary Chart from the George Glazer Gallery for his design of the cover of the new book by his colleague Paul S. Collins, Banvard's Folly: Tales of Renowned Obscurity, Famous Anonymity, and Rotten Luck (St. Martin's Press: 2001). The book is a tribute to obsession and eccentricity, chronicling 13 people of grand ambitions, acclaimed in their own time, but whose schemes eventually and spectacularly failed--inventors and scientists who were eventually proven wrong, businessmen whose grand projects collapsed, and con artists whose hoaxes were eventually discovered. Eggers edits the ultra-hip magazine McSweeney's, where Collins is a contributor.


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