WHAT DOES BIG BROTHER TELL US ABOUT ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY?
WHAT DOES THE FATE OF ACHILLES SAY ABOUT THE DEATH OF AYRTON SENNA?
DO POP STARS SELL THEIR SOULS TO THE DEVIL?
WHY DOES ANYONE WANT TO BE FAMOUS?
AND WHY DO WE WANT THEM TO BE?
We're told that we're celebrity-obsessed. But are we? When we elevate mere mortals to the status of gods, is this a new disease, or a more ancient instinct?
Throughout history we have defined ourselves with reference to famous people and allowed them to exercise a strange power over us. But we have power over them too. Whether they are renowned for their intelligence, beauty, valour, athletic prowess or artistic genius, or even nothing in particular, they have always been at our mercy: We can give them glory and take it away.
Has fame changed? And is our fascination with it really such a bad thing? Tom Payne expertly surveys deities and divas through the ages to answer these puzzling questions and many more.