John Mytton

I found this lovely Folio edition of T H White’s volume of Regency gossip, The Age of Scandal, at Lambdha Books in Wentworth Falls.

TH White, The Age of Scandal, boards by Peter Forster

Other forms of personal toughness were connected with the childish ‘dare’. Mytton drove a chaise across  country, by night, over hedge and ditch, until it collapsed: he jumped the iron railings of his park: he introduced a live bear at a dinner party: he galloped over a rabbit warren to see whether his horse would fall, which it did: in the end, to cure the hiccoughs, he set fire to his own night-shirt, and burned himself to death. It was to prove that he was not afraid.

– T H White, The Age of Scandal

(note: Wikipedia’s entry for Mytton upholds the story of the nightshirt but denies that he died of the burns it caused.)

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