Book review: An Accidental Icon – the eventful and sometimes absurd life of a ‘true queer hero’

Norman Scott, a gay man in a hostile and homophobic 1960s/70s Britain, became notorious when he accused Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe of attempting to have him killed but, as his memoir attests, there were many other shocking and tragic events in his life

Norman Scott seen here at his home in Coombe Martin: his memoir reveals that there was much more to his life than the Jeremy Thorpe scandal. Picture: Getty

Norman Scott could have caused one of the biggest political scandals in Irish history. According to this often jaw-dropping memoir, he had a relationship with the now-deceased Fine Gael TD and former Dublin Lord Mayor Maurice Dockrell in the early 1960s when homosexuality was completely taboo. This remained a secret, so instead it was the Englishman’s entanglement with a very different politician that made him such a controversial figure.

Even now, Scott’s story seems scarcely ...