I have been in love with Titus Oates for quite a while now -- which is ridiculous, since he's been dead for ninety years. But look at it this way. In ninety years I'll be dead, too, and then the age difference won't matter.
McCaughrean's book also introduced me to a Napoleon quotation that may earn the dubious distinction of becoming my life's theme: "There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous," or, "Du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas."
In doing a little googling, I found out that Napoleon was loosely quoting Thomas Paine: "The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately. One step above the sublime, makes the ridiculous; and one step above the ridiculous, makes the sublime again."
Napoleon apparently slept with a copy of The Rights of Man under his pillow and said of Thomas Paine, "a statue of gold should be erected to you in every city in the universe." So I think he liked him.
If you'll excuse me, I'm now going to go have an imaginary, out-of-time romance with Thomas Paine.