BanvardÕs Folly is a lovingly-researched tribute to the forgotten, the mistaken, and the discredited. The book profiles 13 historical figures, many of whom were among the most well-known figures of their day. Each, however, pursued his or her genius to a historical dead end, and their reputations and achievements have long since vanished into obscurity. Although each of these profiles is ultimately a study in failure, these ill-fated individuals demonstrate a brilliance, eccentricity, or audacity that is often breathtaking. CollinsÕ subjects may be failures, but they are spectacular failures, visionaries and dreamers who failed with an astounding degree of ambition, style, and verve. Exceptional.