Fascination with the private lives of the rich, the famous and the talented is hardly new. Ever since there have been stars - Shakespeare? Ancient Greek theatre? - there have been people dying to know their innermost secrets.
The fact is artists are usually given such license when they're famous, that it would be surprising if they weren't tempted to become mad, bad and dangerous to know, like famous bad boy Lord Byron. Professor Jeffery Smith from Otago University wanted to know how much bad character affects our love - or hatred - of their creations. So he wrote a book - Scoundrels, Cads, and Other Great Artists. It's published by Rowman and Littlefield and is available in bookstores now.