He proclaimed himself a genius and raged against the slightest criticism from fellow scholars; he was a Marxist who despised the 'Idiot People'; he could be generous and affectionate yet hurled insults at his friends; he inveighed against Puritanism but was himself in many ways a Puritan: A. L. Rowse was a man of many contradictions. In this clear-sighted and absorbing biography, Richard Ollard examines the many sides of Rowse's Protean personality to reveal a man who, whatever he was responding to - public affairs, the arts, natural beauty or events in his personal life - did so with tremendous energy and passion. "An urbane study of the celebrated historian". (Antonia Fraser, Daily Mail). "Strikes a perfect balance between the Jekyll Rowse and the Hyde Rowse". (Bevis Hillier, Spectator). "Excellent". (Katherine Duncan-Jones, TLS).