Gold and hyacinths

Charliegoldsm
There’s Charlie with a little phial of gold I bought for him in Australia. He likes sparkly things and that seemed appropriate.

I though I’d be topical and talk about financial matters, especially "interesting" ones.

But first, prize winners! I selected three winners from the blog on historicals and masks/secrets. Thanks for filling in so well for me when I was in Australia. I may blog about some of the historical aspects there one day soon. Like the convict who tried to escape in a kangaroo suit… But I digress. Or tease.*G*

Theo wins a book for her observation that in Phantom the disguise is almost a third entity in the plot. Yes, perhaps that’s what a disguise, and also a secret, needs to be.

Rev Melinda wins for pointing us to one of the profound aspects. "one of the central psychological and spiritual tasks of adulthood– the task of knowing oneself, of coming to terms with that self, and of allowing oneself to be seen, and known, and loved, by others." Beautiful.

Anh Piper wins for a fascinating glimpse into the morgue. " we had many instances where people had 3 or more names written on the board. It was really very odd."

Abbc
E-mail me at mjobev@gmail.com with your choice of book. I’ve just received some copies of a Christmas collection from Harlequin called A Bride For Christmas. (Sorry for the picture quality. I haven’t had time to scan it.) My story in there is’nt new — it’s The Wise Virgin — but the other two stories are by the excellent Heather Graham and Candace Camp, and I haven’t yet added it to my book list.

On to financial nuttiness.

I believe back when one of the Wenches mentioned the great tulip mania of the 17th century.Tulip

"At the peak of tulip mania in February 1637 tulip contracts sold for
more than 20 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. It is
generally considered the first recorded  speculative bubble. The term "tulip mania" is often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble."
Wikipedia article

Apparently there is some debate about the extent of the mania, see article here and whether it was exaggerated in the 19th century book Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, which is still a good read. It is also suggested that there was a speculative bubble in hyacinths in the early 19th century. (Is there a Regency spy plot with a twist there?)  I find it totally delightful that people could become so fervent about flowers.

Hya

It’s not gone away. Also from Wikipedia. "Garber also notes that, "a small quantity of prototype lily bulbs
recently was sold for 1 million guilders ($480,000 at 1987 exchange
rates)", demonstrating that even today flowers can command extremely
high prices."

Perhaps speculation in tulips was all good business after all.

Moving on, we have the South Sea Bubble that occurred through overheated speculation in the shares of the South Sea Company. The stock price collapsed after reaching a peak in September 1720.

The South Sea Company (1711 – c1850s) was an English company granted a monopoly to trade with South America under a treaty with Spain.

I don’t really understand this one, but it has all the feel of modern economics. Again, from Wikipedia.
"In return for its exclusive trading rights the government saw an
opportunity for a profitable trade-off. The government and the company
convinced the holders of around £10 million of short-term government
debt to exchange it with a new issue of stock in the company. In
exchange, the government granted the company a perpetual annuity from
the government paying £576,534 annually on the company’s books, or a
perpetual loan of £10 million paying 6%. This guaranteed the new equity
owners a steady stream of earnings to this new venture. The government
thought it was in a win-win situation because it would fund the
interest payment by placing a tariff on the goods brought from South
America."
Wikipedia article

At the same time — financial irresponsibility, or perhaps just extravagance, must have been in the air — France was inflating the Mississippi Bubble Similar idea. Different location.

Things don’t change, do they?

Do you know of any other historical bubbles?

What fiction has used these bubbles as plot elements?

What about other financial elements in novels? There’s the famous buying at the right time at the end of Heyer’s A Civil Contract, of course. (I wrote the foreword to Harlequin’s reissue of that, so it’s another book you winners could have a copy of.)

I used the Duke of Bridgwater’s problems with raising money for his canals in Tempting Fortune.Tf
For dramatic purposes, it’s useful that back then stock holders in companies were responsible for company debts.

Pold
Something about that was part of the Poldark books. Does anyone remember the details? Ah, that made a grand TV series, didn’t it? Why aren’t they making them like that anymore?

Do you think financial matters are a rich lode untapped for historical fiction, or is it all too mundane, and best left alone?

So that’s what popped into my mind in this week of interesting financial times. Share your thoughts.

I’m off to Ottawa next week to speak at the Sweet and Spicy conference there. There’s a signing on the Sunday, so if you’re in that area, come and say hello.

Jo

95 thoughts on “Gold and hyacinths”

  1. Wasn’t there a railroad bubble in England in the 1840s?
    I’m not sure you can call financial matters an “untapped lode” in historical fiction. Think of all those fortune hunters (male and female) running around the marriage mart and all those families coping with financial disaster because papa/brother is a gambler/fool/dupe. What’s untapped is usually the details. Personally, I’d like to know more about the way the Marquis of Money managed to retrieve the family fortunes, and what sort of pie-in-the-sky investments Lord Lackwit fell for.
    But then, I always want to know the details of the scam.

    Reply
  2. Wasn’t there a railroad bubble in England in the 1840s?
    I’m not sure you can call financial matters an “untapped lode” in historical fiction. Think of all those fortune hunters (male and female) running around the marriage mart and all those families coping with financial disaster because papa/brother is a gambler/fool/dupe. What’s untapped is usually the details. Personally, I’d like to know more about the way the Marquis of Money managed to retrieve the family fortunes, and what sort of pie-in-the-sky investments Lord Lackwit fell for.
    But then, I always want to know the details of the scam.

    Reply
  3. Wasn’t there a railroad bubble in England in the 1840s?
    I’m not sure you can call financial matters an “untapped lode” in historical fiction. Think of all those fortune hunters (male and female) running around the marriage mart and all those families coping with financial disaster because papa/brother is a gambler/fool/dupe. What’s untapped is usually the details. Personally, I’d like to know more about the way the Marquis of Money managed to retrieve the family fortunes, and what sort of pie-in-the-sky investments Lord Lackwit fell for.
    But then, I always want to know the details of the scam.

    Reply
  4. Wasn’t there a railroad bubble in England in the 1840s?
    I’m not sure you can call financial matters an “untapped lode” in historical fiction. Think of all those fortune hunters (male and female) running around the marriage mart and all those families coping with financial disaster because papa/brother is a gambler/fool/dupe. What’s untapped is usually the details. Personally, I’d like to know more about the way the Marquis of Money managed to retrieve the family fortunes, and what sort of pie-in-the-sky investments Lord Lackwit fell for.
    But then, I always want to know the details of the scam.

    Reply
  5. Wasn’t there a railroad bubble in England in the 1840s?
    I’m not sure you can call financial matters an “untapped lode” in historical fiction. Think of all those fortune hunters (male and female) running around the marriage mart and all those families coping with financial disaster because papa/brother is a gambler/fool/dupe. What’s untapped is usually the details. Personally, I’d like to know more about the way the Marquis of Money managed to retrieve the family fortunes, and what sort of pie-in-the-sky investments Lord Lackwit fell for.
    But then, I always want to know the details of the scam.

    Reply
  6. This book is on my to-read pile:
    Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation, by Edward Chancellor
    Library Journal says it includes: “the speculative frenzy that gripped ancient Rome… the emergence of stock exchanges from the great fairs of northern Europe, the tulip mania that gripped the Dutch Republic in the 1630s, the insanity of the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles, the robber barons and their impact during the Gilded Age, the events leading to the Crash of 1929, the Japanese bubble economy of the 1980s, the Mexican crisis of 1994, the Asian market crisis of 1997, and the speculative manias that have accompanied the emergence of new technologies, including railroads, the telegraph, automobiles, radio, and the Internet.”

    Reply
  7. This book is on my to-read pile:
    Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation, by Edward Chancellor
    Library Journal says it includes: “the speculative frenzy that gripped ancient Rome… the emergence of stock exchanges from the great fairs of northern Europe, the tulip mania that gripped the Dutch Republic in the 1630s, the insanity of the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles, the robber barons and their impact during the Gilded Age, the events leading to the Crash of 1929, the Japanese bubble economy of the 1980s, the Mexican crisis of 1994, the Asian market crisis of 1997, and the speculative manias that have accompanied the emergence of new technologies, including railroads, the telegraph, automobiles, radio, and the Internet.”

    Reply
  8. This book is on my to-read pile:
    Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation, by Edward Chancellor
    Library Journal says it includes: “the speculative frenzy that gripped ancient Rome… the emergence of stock exchanges from the great fairs of northern Europe, the tulip mania that gripped the Dutch Republic in the 1630s, the insanity of the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles, the robber barons and their impact during the Gilded Age, the events leading to the Crash of 1929, the Japanese bubble economy of the 1980s, the Mexican crisis of 1994, the Asian market crisis of 1997, and the speculative manias that have accompanied the emergence of new technologies, including railroads, the telegraph, automobiles, radio, and the Internet.”

    Reply
  9. This book is on my to-read pile:
    Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation, by Edward Chancellor
    Library Journal says it includes: “the speculative frenzy that gripped ancient Rome… the emergence of stock exchanges from the great fairs of northern Europe, the tulip mania that gripped the Dutch Republic in the 1630s, the insanity of the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles, the robber barons and their impact during the Gilded Age, the events leading to the Crash of 1929, the Japanese bubble economy of the 1980s, the Mexican crisis of 1994, the Asian market crisis of 1997, and the speculative manias that have accompanied the emergence of new technologies, including railroads, the telegraph, automobiles, radio, and the Internet.”

    Reply
  10. This book is on my to-read pile:
    Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation, by Edward Chancellor
    Library Journal says it includes: “the speculative frenzy that gripped ancient Rome… the emergence of stock exchanges from the great fairs of northern Europe, the tulip mania that gripped the Dutch Republic in the 1630s, the insanity of the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles, the robber barons and their impact during the Gilded Age, the events leading to the Crash of 1929, the Japanese bubble economy of the 1980s, the Mexican crisis of 1994, the Asian market crisis of 1997, and the speculative manias that have accompanied the emergence of new technologies, including railroads, the telegraph, automobiles, radio, and the Internet.”

    Reply
  11. Interesting post, Jo.
    Actually, my March 2009 release VEXING THE VISCOUNT references the South Sea Bubble. My hero’s father lost his fortune in the debacle and now it’s up to the son to put things right. A short excerpt is available on my website http://www.emilybryan.com.
    The South Sea Company spawned a good deal of speculative investment. The entire market shot skyward on nothing but enthusiasm. Little companies sprang up like weeds and sold stock. One prospectus proclaimed that their fledgling operation was undertaking a great enterprise, but “nobody knows what it is.”
    Even Sir Issac Newton reportedly lost 20,000 pounds in the South Sea Bubble. He said he “could not calculate the madness of people.”
    However, the South Sea Company never sent a single ship to trade with the South American markets where they were granted exclusive rights. Good thing, too. Their principle import to the New World was going to be slaves from the African Gold Coast.
    It’s fitting, I think, that the South Sea investors lost everything.

    Reply
  12. Interesting post, Jo.
    Actually, my March 2009 release VEXING THE VISCOUNT references the South Sea Bubble. My hero’s father lost his fortune in the debacle and now it’s up to the son to put things right. A short excerpt is available on my website http://www.emilybryan.com.
    The South Sea Company spawned a good deal of speculative investment. The entire market shot skyward on nothing but enthusiasm. Little companies sprang up like weeds and sold stock. One prospectus proclaimed that their fledgling operation was undertaking a great enterprise, but “nobody knows what it is.”
    Even Sir Issac Newton reportedly lost 20,000 pounds in the South Sea Bubble. He said he “could not calculate the madness of people.”
    However, the South Sea Company never sent a single ship to trade with the South American markets where they were granted exclusive rights. Good thing, too. Their principle import to the New World was going to be slaves from the African Gold Coast.
    It’s fitting, I think, that the South Sea investors lost everything.

    Reply
  13. Interesting post, Jo.
    Actually, my March 2009 release VEXING THE VISCOUNT references the South Sea Bubble. My hero’s father lost his fortune in the debacle and now it’s up to the son to put things right. A short excerpt is available on my website http://www.emilybryan.com.
    The South Sea Company spawned a good deal of speculative investment. The entire market shot skyward on nothing but enthusiasm. Little companies sprang up like weeds and sold stock. One prospectus proclaimed that their fledgling operation was undertaking a great enterprise, but “nobody knows what it is.”
    Even Sir Issac Newton reportedly lost 20,000 pounds in the South Sea Bubble. He said he “could not calculate the madness of people.”
    However, the South Sea Company never sent a single ship to trade with the South American markets where they were granted exclusive rights. Good thing, too. Their principle import to the New World was going to be slaves from the African Gold Coast.
    It’s fitting, I think, that the South Sea investors lost everything.

    Reply
  14. Interesting post, Jo.
    Actually, my March 2009 release VEXING THE VISCOUNT references the South Sea Bubble. My hero’s father lost his fortune in the debacle and now it’s up to the son to put things right. A short excerpt is available on my website http://www.emilybryan.com.
    The South Sea Company spawned a good deal of speculative investment. The entire market shot skyward on nothing but enthusiasm. Little companies sprang up like weeds and sold stock. One prospectus proclaimed that their fledgling operation was undertaking a great enterprise, but “nobody knows what it is.”
    Even Sir Issac Newton reportedly lost 20,000 pounds in the South Sea Bubble. He said he “could not calculate the madness of people.”
    However, the South Sea Company never sent a single ship to trade with the South American markets where they were granted exclusive rights. Good thing, too. Their principle import to the New World was going to be slaves from the African Gold Coast.
    It’s fitting, I think, that the South Sea investors lost everything.

    Reply
  15. Interesting post, Jo.
    Actually, my March 2009 release VEXING THE VISCOUNT references the South Sea Bubble. My hero’s father lost his fortune in the debacle and now it’s up to the son to put things right. A short excerpt is available on my website http://www.emilybryan.com.
    The South Sea Company spawned a good deal of speculative investment. The entire market shot skyward on nothing but enthusiasm. Little companies sprang up like weeds and sold stock. One prospectus proclaimed that their fledgling operation was undertaking a great enterprise, but “nobody knows what it is.”
    Even Sir Issac Newton reportedly lost 20,000 pounds in the South Sea Bubble. He said he “could not calculate the madness of people.”
    However, the South Sea Company never sent a single ship to trade with the South American markets where they were granted exclusive rights. Good thing, too. Their principle import to the New World was going to be slaves from the African Gold Coast.
    It’s fitting, I think, that the South Sea investors lost everything.

    Reply
  16. The first time I ever heard of a bubble was in Karleen Koen’s “Through a Glass Darkly” where the major climaxes of the book relate to the crash. I was very excited when we finally covered it in high school European History.
    As a side-note, there was a review of that book that called it a “well-researched bodice ripper” and said it should never have been issued in hardcover but sent straight to the drugstore paperback section where it belonged. I wanted to rip out the reviewer’s throat–maybe I still do.
    So, on that note, all I can say is, “Aargh!” (It is annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, after all).

    Reply
  17. The first time I ever heard of a bubble was in Karleen Koen’s “Through a Glass Darkly” where the major climaxes of the book relate to the crash. I was very excited when we finally covered it in high school European History.
    As a side-note, there was a review of that book that called it a “well-researched bodice ripper” and said it should never have been issued in hardcover but sent straight to the drugstore paperback section where it belonged. I wanted to rip out the reviewer’s throat–maybe I still do.
    So, on that note, all I can say is, “Aargh!” (It is annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, after all).

    Reply
  18. The first time I ever heard of a bubble was in Karleen Koen’s “Through a Glass Darkly” where the major climaxes of the book relate to the crash. I was very excited when we finally covered it in high school European History.
    As a side-note, there was a review of that book that called it a “well-researched bodice ripper” and said it should never have been issued in hardcover but sent straight to the drugstore paperback section where it belonged. I wanted to rip out the reviewer’s throat–maybe I still do.
    So, on that note, all I can say is, “Aargh!” (It is annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, after all).

    Reply
  19. The first time I ever heard of a bubble was in Karleen Koen’s “Through a Glass Darkly” where the major climaxes of the book relate to the crash. I was very excited when we finally covered it in high school European History.
    As a side-note, there was a review of that book that called it a “well-researched bodice ripper” and said it should never have been issued in hardcover but sent straight to the drugstore paperback section where it belonged. I wanted to rip out the reviewer’s throat–maybe I still do.
    So, on that note, all I can say is, “Aargh!” (It is annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, after all).

    Reply
  20. The first time I ever heard of a bubble was in Karleen Koen’s “Through a Glass Darkly” where the major climaxes of the book relate to the crash. I was very excited when we finally covered it in high school European History.
    As a side-note, there was a review of that book that called it a “well-researched bodice ripper” and said it should never have been issued in hardcover but sent straight to the drugstore paperback section where it belonged. I wanted to rip out the reviewer’s throat–maybe I still do.
    So, on that note, all I can say is, “Aargh!” (It is annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, after all).

    Reply
  21. Jane O,
    good point about lack of details of families who lose their money. In saying that financial matters aren’t used, I meant the business side like banking, investing, and government funds rather than extravagance and gaming debt.
    In The Demon’s Mistress, Van’s father had lost his money by following shady investment advice from Maria’s husband, who’d been lining his pockets at the same time, though I didn’t go into a lot of detail.
    “Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation, by Edward Chancellor”
    That sounds interesting!
    Yes, Jane, it is lovely to see a pic from that series, isn’t it?
    “Even Sir Issac Newton reportedly lost 20,000 pounds in the South Sea Bubble. He said he “could not calculate the madness of people.””
    LOL, Emily! Yes, wisdom in some areas doesn’t lead to it in others. I think the best notion is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
    JRox said: As a side-note, there was a review of that book that called it a “well-researched bodice ripper” and said it should never have been issued in hardcover but sent straight to the drugstore paperback section where it belonged. I wanted to rip out the reviewer’s throat–maybe I still do.”
    I’m with you.
    “So, on that note, all I can say is, “Aargh!” (It is annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, after all).”
    Is it? How splendid. Yo ho ho!
    Where’s the rum?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  22. Jane O,
    good point about lack of details of families who lose their money. In saying that financial matters aren’t used, I meant the business side like banking, investing, and government funds rather than extravagance and gaming debt.
    In The Demon’s Mistress, Van’s father had lost his money by following shady investment advice from Maria’s husband, who’d been lining his pockets at the same time, though I didn’t go into a lot of detail.
    “Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation, by Edward Chancellor”
    That sounds interesting!
    Yes, Jane, it is lovely to see a pic from that series, isn’t it?
    “Even Sir Issac Newton reportedly lost 20,000 pounds in the South Sea Bubble. He said he “could not calculate the madness of people.””
    LOL, Emily! Yes, wisdom in some areas doesn’t lead to it in others. I think the best notion is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
    JRox said: As a side-note, there was a review of that book that called it a “well-researched bodice ripper” and said it should never have been issued in hardcover but sent straight to the drugstore paperback section where it belonged. I wanted to rip out the reviewer’s throat–maybe I still do.”
    I’m with you.
    “So, on that note, all I can say is, “Aargh!” (It is annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, after all).”
    Is it? How splendid. Yo ho ho!
    Where’s the rum?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  23. Jane O,
    good point about lack of details of families who lose their money. In saying that financial matters aren’t used, I meant the business side like banking, investing, and government funds rather than extravagance and gaming debt.
    In The Demon’s Mistress, Van’s father had lost his money by following shady investment advice from Maria’s husband, who’d been lining his pockets at the same time, though I didn’t go into a lot of detail.
    “Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation, by Edward Chancellor”
    That sounds interesting!
    Yes, Jane, it is lovely to see a pic from that series, isn’t it?
    “Even Sir Issac Newton reportedly lost 20,000 pounds in the South Sea Bubble. He said he “could not calculate the madness of people.””
    LOL, Emily! Yes, wisdom in some areas doesn’t lead to it in others. I think the best notion is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
    JRox said: As a side-note, there was a review of that book that called it a “well-researched bodice ripper” and said it should never have been issued in hardcover but sent straight to the drugstore paperback section where it belonged. I wanted to rip out the reviewer’s throat–maybe I still do.”
    I’m with you.
    “So, on that note, all I can say is, “Aargh!” (It is annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, after all).”
    Is it? How splendid. Yo ho ho!
    Where’s the rum?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  24. Jane O,
    good point about lack of details of families who lose their money. In saying that financial matters aren’t used, I meant the business side like banking, investing, and government funds rather than extravagance and gaming debt.
    In The Demon’s Mistress, Van’s father had lost his money by following shady investment advice from Maria’s husband, who’d been lining his pockets at the same time, though I didn’t go into a lot of detail.
    “Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation, by Edward Chancellor”
    That sounds interesting!
    Yes, Jane, it is lovely to see a pic from that series, isn’t it?
    “Even Sir Issac Newton reportedly lost 20,000 pounds in the South Sea Bubble. He said he “could not calculate the madness of people.””
    LOL, Emily! Yes, wisdom in some areas doesn’t lead to it in others. I think the best notion is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
    JRox said: As a side-note, there was a review of that book that called it a “well-researched bodice ripper” and said it should never have been issued in hardcover but sent straight to the drugstore paperback section where it belonged. I wanted to rip out the reviewer’s throat–maybe I still do.”
    I’m with you.
    “So, on that note, all I can say is, “Aargh!” (It is annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, after all).”
    Is it? How splendid. Yo ho ho!
    Where’s the rum?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  25. Jane O,
    good point about lack of details of families who lose their money. In saying that financial matters aren’t used, I meant the business side like banking, investing, and government funds rather than extravagance and gaming debt.
    In The Demon’s Mistress, Van’s father had lost his money by following shady investment advice from Maria’s husband, who’d been lining his pockets at the same time, though I didn’t go into a lot of detail.
    “Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation, by Edward Chancellor”
    That sounds interesting!
    Yes, Jane, it is lovely to see a pic from that series, isn’t it?
    “Even Sir Issac Newton reportedly lost 20,000 pounds in the South Sea Bubble. He said he “could not calculate the madness of people.””
    LOL, Emily! Yes, wisdom in some areas doesn’t lead to it in others. I think the best notion is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
    JRox said: As a side-note, there was a review of that book that called it a “well-researched bodice ripper” and said it should never have been issued in hardcover but sent straight to the drugstore paperback section where it belonged. I wanted to rip out the reviewer’s throat–maybe I still do.”
    I’m with you.
    “So, on that note, all I can say is, “Aargh!” (It is annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, after all).”
    Is it? How splendid. Yo ho ho!
    Where’s the rum?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  26. I have no problem with bubbles in context but please, (and this is just a general please, not personal) don’t go into such detail that my eyes glaze over.
    I’ve read novels where there is so much outside detail, the H/Hn actually get lost in the slush pile of overload. I remember the novel where the Hn’s father was a garment maker. I read details right down to how many loops in each tiny stitch of lace-work and how the shading looked on each individual button. Around the fourth page (and mind, this was only in the second chapter) of that detail, the book made it to the wall.
    Give me the financial background, but don’t give me the condition of each pound note and I’m happy 🙂
    On another note, Thanks Jo! I sent you an email earlier.

    Reply
  27. I have no problem with bubbles in context but please, (and this is just a general please, not personal) don’t go into such detail that my eyes glaze over.
    I’ve read novels where there is so much outside detail, the H/Hn actually get lost in the slush pile of overload. I remember the novel where the Hn’s father was a garment maker. I read details right down to how many loops in each tiny stitch of lace-work and how the shading looked on each individual button. Around the fourth page (and mind, this was only in the second chapter) of that detail, the book made it to the wall.
    Give me the financial background, but don’t give me the condition of each pound note and I’m happy 🙂
    On another note, Thanks Jo! I sent you an email earlier.

    Reply
  28. I have no problem with bubbles in context but please, (and this is just a general please, not personal) don’t go into such detail that my eyes glaze over.
    I’ve read novels where there is so much outside detail, the H/Hn actually get lost in the slush pile of overload. I remember the novel where the Hn’s father was a garment maker. I read details right down to how many loops in each tiny stitch of lace-work and how the shading looked on each individual button. Around the fourth page (and mind, this was only in the second chapter) of that detail, the book made it to the wall.
    Give me the financial background, but don’t give me the condition of each pound note and I’m happy 🙂
    On another note, Thanks Jo! I sent you an email earlier.

    Reply
  29. I have no problem with bubbles in context but please, (and this is just a general please, not personal) don’t go into such detail that my eyes glaze over.
    I’ve read novels where there is so much outside detail, the H/Hn actually get lost in the slush pile of overload. I remember the novel where the Hn’s father was a garment maker. I read details right down to how many loops in each tiny stitch of lace-work and how the shading looked on each individual button. Around the fourth page (and mind, this was only in the second chapter) of that detail, the book made it to the wall.
    Give me the financial background, but don’t give me the condition of each pound note and I’m happy 🙂
    On another note, Thanks Jo! I sent you an email earlier.

    Reply
  30. I have no problem with bubbles in context but please, (and this is just a general please, not personal) don’t go into such detail that my eyes glaze over.
    I’ve read novels where there is so much outside detail, the H/Hn actually get lost in the slush pile of overload. I remember the novel where the Hn’s father was a garment maker. I read details right down to how many loops in each tiny stitch of lace-work and how the shading looked on each individual button. Around the fourth page (and mind, this was only in the second chapter) of that detail, the book made it to the wall.
    Give me the financial background, but don’t give me the condition of each pound note and I’m happy 🙂
    On another note, Thanks Jo! I sent you an email earlier.

    Reply
  31. Ah, the Poldark series! I read the novels and scheduled my social activities around the BBC series when it aired here. And yes, I remember that financial difficulties were the centerpiece of the plot of the Poldark saga–quite a switch from the usual stories set in that time and place. Maybe this is off-topic, but does anyone know if the series is or will be available on DVD??

    Reply
  32. Ah, the Poldark series! I read the novels and scheduled my social activities around the BBC series when it aired here. And yes, I remember that financial difficulties were the centerpiece of the plot of the Poldark saga–quite a switch from the usual stories set in that time and place. Maybe this is off-topic, but does anyone know if the series is or will be available on DVD??

    Reply
  33. Ah, the Poldark series! I read the novels and scheduled my social activities around the BBC series when it aired here. And yes, I remember that financial difficulties were the centerpiece of the plot of the Poldark saga–quite a switch from the usual stories set in that time and place. Maybe this is off-topic, but does anyone know if the series is or will be available on DVD??

    Reply
  34. Ah, the Poldark series! I read the novels and scheduled my social activities around the BBC series when it aired here. And yes, I remember that financial difficulties were the centerpiece of the plot of the Poldark saga–quite a switch from the usual stories set in that time and place. Maybe this is off-topic, but does anyone know if the series is or will be available on DVD??

    Reply
  35. Ah, the Poldark series! I read the novels and scheduled my social activities around the BBC series when it aired here. And yes, I remember that financial difficulties were the centerpiece of the plot of the Poldark saga–quite a switch from the usual stories set in that time and place. Maybe this is off-topic, but does anyone know if the series is or will be available on DVD??

    Reply
  36. I also recommend the hilarious THE PYRATES by George MacDonald Fraser. (“Aaargh,” said the Captain thoughtfully.)
    In Dickens’s MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT, the Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company is in essence a classical Ponzi scheme—founded before Charles Ponzi was born—which paid off early policyholders’ claims with premiums from more recent policyholders.
    One might also count Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the Chancery lawsuit in BLEAK HOUSE which goes on so long that it devours the entire estate.
    The tulip mania has a role to play in CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER, Gregory Maguire’s (WICKED) version of Cinderella.
    I remember reading that in the mania that led up to the stock market crash of 1929, airline stocks were particularly popular; people invested a fortune in the Seaboard Air Line, not realizing that despite the name, it was a railroad.
    Dotcoms, anyone?

    Reply
  37. I also recommend the hilarious THE PYRATES by George MacDonald Fraser. (“Aaargh,” said the Captain thoughtfully.)
    In Dickens’s MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT, the Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company is in essence a classical Ponzi scheme—founded before Charles Ponzi was born—which paid off early policyholders’ claims with premiums from more recent policyholders.
    One might also count Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the Chancery lawsuit in BLEAK HOUSE which goes on so long that it devours the entire estate.
    The tulip mania has a role to play in CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER, Gregory Maguire’s (WICKED) version of Cinderella.
    I remember reading that in the mania that led up to the stock market crash of 1929, airline stocks were particularly popular; people invested a fortune in the Seaboard Air Line, not realizing that despite the name, it was a railroad.
    Dotcoms, anyone?

    Reply
  38. I also recommend the hilarious THE PYRATES by George MacDonald Fraser. (“Aaargh,” said the Captain thoughtfully.)
    In Dickens’s MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT, the Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company is in essence a classical Ponzi scheme—founded before Charles Ponzi was born—which paid off early policyholders’ claims with premiums from more recent policyholders.
    One might also count Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the Chancery lawsuit in BLEAK HOUSE which goes on so long that it devours the entire estate.
    The tulip mania has a role to play in CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER, Gregory Maguire’s (WICKED) version of Cinderella.
    I remember reading that in the mania that led up to the stock market crash of 1929, airline stocks were particularly popular; people invested a fortune in the Seaboard Air Line, not realizing that despite the name, it was a railroad.
    Dotcoms, anyone?

    Reply
  39. I also recommend the hilarious THE PYRATES by George MacDonald Fraser. (“Aaargh,” said the Captain thoughtfully.)
    In Dickens’s MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT, the Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company is in essence a classical Ponzi scheme—founded before Charles Ponzi was born—which paid off early policyholders’ claims with premiums from more recent policyholders.
    One might also count Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the Chancery lawsuit in BLEAK HOUSE which goes on so long that it devours the entire estate.
    The tulip mania has a role to play in CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER, Gregory Maguire’s (WICKED) version of Cinderella.
    I remember reading that in the mania that led up to the stock market crash of 1929, airline stocks were particularly popular; people invested a fortune in the Seaboard Air Line, not realizing that despite the name, it was a railroad.
    Dotcoms, anyone?

    Reply
  40. I also recommend the hilarious THE PYRATES by George MacDonald Fraser. (“Aaargh,” said the Captain thoughtfully.)
    In Dickens’s MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT, the Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company is in essence a classical Ponzi scheme—founded before Charles Ponzi was born—which paid off early policyholders’ claims with premiums from more recent policyholders.
    One might also count Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the Chancery lawsuit in BLEAK HOUSE which goes on so long that it devours the entire estate.
    The tulip mania has a role to play in CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER, Gregory Maguire’s (WICKED) version of Cinderella.
    I remember reading that in the mania that led up to the stock market crash of 1929, airline stocks were particularly popular; people invested a fortune in the Seaboard Air Line, not realizing that despite the name, it was a railroad.
    Dotcoms, anyone?

    Reply
  41. Don’t forget Raphael Sabatini’s novel The Gamester, based on John Law, the Scottish gambler, banker and speculator who introduced paper money and Govt bonds and made France rich on air in the early 18th century. All to do with your Missippi Bubble, Jo.

    Reply
  42. Don’t forget Raphael Sabatini’s novel The Gamester, based on John Law, the Scottish gambler, banker and speculator who introduced paper money and Govt bonds and made France rich on air in the early 18th century. All to do with your Missippi Bubble, Jo.

    Reply
  43. Don’t forget Raphael Sabatini’s novel The Gamester, based on John Law, the Scottish gambler, banker and speculator who introduced paper money and Govt bonds and made France rich on air in the early 18th century. All to do with your Missippi Bubble, Jo.

    Reply
  44. Don’t forget Raphael Sabatini’s novel The Gamester, based on John Law, the Scottish gambler, banker and speculator who introduced paper money and Govt bonds and made France rich on air in the early 18th century. All to do with your Missippi Bubble, Jo.

    Reply
  45. Don’t forget Raphael Sabatini’s novel The Gamester, based on John Law, the Scottish gambler, banker and speculator who introduced paper money and Govt bonds and made France rich on air in the early 18th century. All to do with your Missippi Bubble, Jo.

    Reply
  46. My fave Stephanie Laurens, A Secret Love, revolves around a central African mining scam that, like the South Sea Company, never actually equipped ships or broke ground. One of the interesting aspects of the book is how difficult it was at the time to find information on the company’s claims. The villages and mines named in the company prospectus couldn’t be googled or even looked up in an atlas; the heroine had to read explorers’ biographies and diaries and make guesses based on sketchy hand-drawn maps with inconsistent place-names.

    Reply
  47. My fave Stephanie Laurens, A Secret Love, revolves around a central African mining scam that, like the South Sea Company, never actually equipped ships or broke ground. One of the interesting aspects of the book is how difficult it was at the time to find information on the company’s claims. The villages and mines named in the company prospectus couldn’t be googled or even looked up in an atlas; the heroine had to read explorers’ biographies and diaries and make guesses based on sketchy hand-drawn maps with inconsistent place-names.

    Reply
  48. My fave Stephanie Laurens, A Secret Love, revolves around a central African mining scam that, like the South Sea Company, never actually equipped ships or broke ground. One of the interesting aspects of the book is how difficult it was at the time to find information on the company’s claims. The villages and mines named in the company prospectus couldn’t be googled or even looked up in an atlas; the heroine had to read explorers’ biographies and diaries and make guesses based on sketchy hand-drawn maps with inconsistent place-names.

    Reply
  49. My fave Stephanie Laurens, A Secret Love, revolves around a central African mining scam that, like the South Sea Company, never actually equipped ships or broke ground. One of the interesting aspects of the book is how difficult it was at the time to find information on the company’s claims. The villages and mines named in the company prospectus couldn’t be googled or even looked up in an atlas; the heroine had to read explorers’ biographies and diaries and make guesses based on sketchy hand-drawn maps with inconsistent place-names.

    Reply
  50. My fave Stephanie Laurens, A Secret Love, revolves around a central African mining scam that, like the South Sea Company, never actually equipped ships or broke ground. One of the interesting aspects of the book is how difficult it was at the time to find information on the company’s claims. The villages and mines named in the company prospectus couldn’t be googled or even looked up in an atlas; the heroine had to read explorers’ biographies and diaries and make guesses based on sketchy hand-drawn maps with inconsistent place-names.

    Reply
  51. Personally, I think there are not enough books out there with tulip plot elements. More tuplips, please!!! 🙂
    There have been a lot of books that mention the railroad “bubble” of the 1840’s. I vaguely remember one that might have been by Lisa Kleypas…?

    Reply
  52. Personally, I think there are not enough books out there with tulip plot elements. More tuplips, please!!! 🙂
    There have been a lot of books that mention the railroad “bubble” of the 1840’s. I vaguely remember one that might have been by Lisa Kleypas…?

    Reply
  53. Personally, I think there are not enough books out there with tulip plot elements. More tuplips, please!!! 🙂
    There have been a lot of books that mention the railroad “bubble” of the 1840’s. I vaguely remember one that might have been by Lisa Kleypas…?

    Reply
  54. Personally, I think there are not enough books out there with tulip plot elements. More tuplips, please!!! 🙂
    There have been a lot of books that mention the railroad “bubble” of the 1840’s. I vaguely remember one that might have been by Lisa Kleypas…?

    Reply
  55. Personally, I think there are not enough books out there with tulip plot elements. More tuplips, please!!! 🙂
    There have been a lot of books that mention the railroad “bubble” of the 1840’s. I vaguely remember one that might have been by Lisa Kleypas…?

    Reply
  56. Tal wrote: “I also recommend the hilarious THE PYRATES by George MacDonald Fraser. (“Aaargh,” said the Captain thoughtfully.)”
    Adverbs can be beautiful things. :)Take that, Stephen King!
    LOL! about more tulips. Reminds me of Monty Python and lupins. )
    We shouldn’t forget that Brummel came a cropper through financial shenanigans. He was taking money and promising to pay annuities,(a common enough and respectable business) but extravagance meant that soon he didn’t have enough money to pay the quarterly amounts to the worthy people who’d trusted him, so he was paying older annuities with money he got from selling new ones…
    Ended up in poverty in Calais, but in the process ruined a lot of ordinary folks.
    Jo

    Reply
  57. Tal wrote: “I also recommend the hilarious THE PYRATES by George MacDonald Fraser. (“Aaargh,” said the Captain thoughtfully.)”
    Adverbs can be beautiful things. :)Take that, Stephen King!
    LOL! about more tulips. Reminds me of Monty Python and lupins. )
    We shouldn’t forget that Brummel came a cropper through financial shenanigans. He was taking money and promising to pay annuities,(a common enough and respectable business) but extravagance meant that soon he didn’t have enough money to pay the quarterly amounts to the worthy people who’d trusted him, so he was paying older annuities with money he got from selling new ones…
    Ended up in poverty in Calais, but in the process ruined a lot of ordinary folks.
    Jo

    Reply
  58. Tal wrote: “I also recommend the hilarious THE PYRATES by George MacDonald Fraser. (“Aaargh,” said the Captain thoughtfully.)”
    Adverbs can be beautiful things. :)Take that, Stephen King!
    LOL! about more tulips. Reminds me of Monty Python and lupins. )
    We shouldn’t forget that Brummel came a cropper through financial shenanigans. He was taking money and promising to pay annuities,(a common enough and respectable business) but extravagance meant that soon he didn’t have enough money to pay the quarterly amounts to the worthy people who’d trusted him, so he was paying older annuities with money he got from selling new ones…
    Ended up in poverty in Calais, but in the process ruined a lot of ordinary folks.
    Jo

    Reply
  59. Tal wrote: “I also recommend the hilarious THE PYRATES by George MacDonald Fraser. (“Aaargh,” said the Captain thoughtfully.)”
    Adverbs can be beautiful things. :)Take that, Stephen King!
    LOL! about more tulips. Reminds me of Monty Python and lupins. )
    We shouldn’t forget that Brummel came a cropper through financial shenanigans. He was taking money and promising to pay annuities,(a common enough and respectable business) but extravagance meant that soon he didn’t have enough money to pay the quarterly amounts to the worthy people who’d trusted him, so he was paying older annuities with money he got from selling new ones…
    Ended up in poverty in Calais, but in the process ruined a lot of ordinary folks.
    Jo

    Reply
  60. Tal wrote: “I also recommend the hilarious THE PYRATES by George MacDonald Fraser. (“Aaargh,” said the Captain thoughtfully.)”
    Adverbs can be beautiful things. :)Take that, Stephen King!
    LOL! about more tulips. Reminds me of Monty Python and lupins. )
    We shouldn’t forget that Brummel came a cropper through financial shenanigans. He was taking money and promising to pay annuities,(a common enough and respectable business) but extravagance meant that soon he didn’t have enough money to pay the quarterly amounts to the worthy people who’d trusted him, so he was paying older annuities with money he got from selling new ones…
    Ended up in poverty in Calais, but in the process ruined a lot of ordinary folks.
    Jo

    Reply

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