This extraordinary volume lifts the lid, literally, on the tangled and, frankly, unsavoury world said to be inhabited by certain publishers, writers and Literary Executors, all apparently suffering from delusions of grandeur. Miss Sanspeur reveals a web of deceit, misinformation and denigration of the dead, going back over thirty-five years, aimed at gaining unlawful control of that unique, charming and harmless quirk of history, the Kingdom of Redonda in the West Indies.

It shows up the alleged machinations of wealthy American industrialist Arthur Reynolds Morse, and his unsuccessful attempt to deny and pervert the perfectly-legal and genuine efforts of John Gawsworth, Third King of Redonda, to preserve the future of his Kingdom. We learn how Morse set out to deliberately undermine the legally-valid transfer of the Title of King to Arthur John Roberts in 1966, which included an Irrevocable Covenant drawn up by a university Professor of Law, and two boxes of Royal Archives dating back over sixty years. As self-appointed arbiter, Morse pretended that Mr Jon Wynne-Tyson was the "real" King of Redonda, by virtue of a so-called "death-bed wish" by Gawsworth to Wynne-Tyson in September, 1970, when Mr Roberts had been reigning for three years, but this was only made public ten years later. Mr Wynne-Tyson has since admitted, in writing, that the "wish" was untrue, and he was in Versailles when Gawsworth died in Kensington. This, however, did not prevent him from claiming to be the "real" King later on. On Gawsworth's death in 1970, Mr Wynne-Tyson was named as one of two joint Literary Executors in Gawsworth's Will, and inherited ten boxes of Gawsworth's private papers, already in his safe-keeping. He was not named as the next King of Redonda.

In 1995, when Wynne-Tyson came to sell these private papers by auction at Sotheby's in London, they were described in the catalogue as "Royal Archives", being sold by the "King of Redonda". It is said that they were purchased for £10,000 by a "rich Spaniard" (the well-known author Javier Marias) who also took over the Literary Executorship. It is said that Mr Wynne-Tyson also gave him the impression that the Kingship of Redonda was included in the deal, thereby passing on his impostorship to Javier Marias. What a bargain ! (See "Negra Espalda del tiempo" by Javier Marias (Alfaguara, 1998 ) page 365).

Furthermore, to compound the deception, both impostors Wynne-Tyson and "King Javier" have published recently lists of "dignities and Titles" bestowed on others, by virtue of their so-called powers and prerogatives as "Kings". (See appendices in "La Mujer de Huguenin " by M.P.Shiel (trans. Antonio Ariarte), Reino de Redonda, Barcelona, 2000). The recipients of these empty honours have every right to feel insulted, as do all true Redondans, together with the present true King of Redonda , concerning the apparent conversion of his Kingdom into a publishing company !

The hilarious but deplorable deceits thus described in the searing pages of this book extend far beyond the personalities involved. It has spread to the world press and media, and the internet, and has spawned a rash of minor impostors, including an eccentric author in Alaska, a female descendant of the second King living in the north of England, a rumoured godson of the third King dwelling in Canada, an admitted non-legitimist Montserrat barrister living in London who failed to do his homework, and a sycophant of Jon Wynne-Tyson living on a boat in the Caribbean.

Verity Sanspeur is to be congratulated on telling so vividly this extraordinary and unusual story, basing her researches on the genuine Royal Archives, and also on the biased and often contradictory evidence provided by the impostors themselves. Whilst a sad indictment of the shameful parts apparently played by the impostors and their agents, it also provides us with a humorous catalogue of human folly and inflated egos, revealing not only the strength of the case today for the true Kingdom of Redonda, its Monarch and its Members, but also the curious effect on other people's minds of the fascination of this unique, charming and harmless quirk of history.