In the many years Jim has spent talking and writing about the quirkier events and people in our history, he has come across characters whose lives have amazed, surprised and amused him. This is a book about some of those people and their bizarre, remarkable and out of the ordinary lives. And in only the way Jim can, he's discovered that there is always more to the story than first meets the eye. Who knew, example, that the first man hanged in Australia made an artefact now valued at over one million dollars? Or that an Australian swimmer was the highest paid act on the American vaudeville circuit and the star of the first movie ever made with a budget of one million American dollars? And that the father of the first Australian woman to serve in parliament was hanged for murder? These are the stories of lives that capture the heart and soul of the Australian character.