By Julian Rathbone
Published by Michael Joseph
Joseph Bosham, self-styled third Viscount of Bosham, with a half-English Catholic priest for a father and an Italian brothel-keeper in place of a mother, educated in mathematics, music, and philosophy, but with a gift for narrative and a natural bent for depravity, was born into the turbulent Europe of 1790 and settled in Spain. There, gypsies, devil-worshippers, and the remnants of the Inquisition fought for space with the great armies of Wellington and Napoleon. Seduced by the hectic glamour of battle at the age of eleven and tossed in its wake for the next fifteen years, little José survives as courier, pimp, linguist, mercenary, and mascot to tell his poignant, comic, richly entertaining, and tantalizingly unreliable tale.