""This is the fragmented tale of a single biographical quest," says Holmes, "a thirty-year journey in search of the perfect Romantic subject and the form to fit it."" "Sidetracks pursues this quest through an extraordinary and eclectic assortment of Romantic and Gothic writers and personalities - French, English, Dutch, and American, some major, some minor, but all made hypnotically alive and memorable through Holmes's transforming touch. We meet Chatterton and de Nerval, Mary Wollstonecraft and Godwin, James Boswell and Robert Louis Stevenson, Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda." "With each of these twenty pieces Holmes shows how fluid, playful, and unconstrained the many voices of biography can be. The collection is held together by a subtle autobiographical thread: "To be sidetracked is, after all, to be led astray by a path or an idea, a scent or a tune, and maybe lost forever.""--BOOK JACKET.