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, where 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 Jose survives as courier, pimp, linguist, mercenary and mascot to tell his poignant, comic, entertaining and tantalisingly unreliable tale.
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