"Europe's child," as pamphleteers referred to him, captured the imagination of salon society. Allegedly raised in a dark cellar and deprived of human contact until the age of sixteen, he became the proof of a concept for theories about natural man, original sin, and the civilizing mission of culture. Rightful heir to the throne of Baden or a fraud? Redeemer of man's sins or "ambulatory automatist"? The curious circumstances and significance of his life have been disputed ever since.
Quebec cartoonist Diane Obomsawin draws on Hauser's own writings, and contemporary accounts, to tell the foundling's strange story.Gentle and poetic, naive and profound, Obomsawin's first book to appear in English translation has a quiet and compelling charm.