Please help me welcome my guest blogger today, Emily Bryan, author of "Vexing the Viscount." If you want to learn a little about the historical background to her story, read on...you'll love it. And one lucky commenter will win a copy of "Vexing the Viscount"...so be sure to check it out below.
The South Sea Stock Swindle
VEXING THE VISCOUNT by Emily Bryan
Move over, Madoff! Long before that Wall Street hustler took his customers for a “ponzi” ride, there was the South Sea Stock Swindle. I like to use real historical events in my back stories, so that total economic collapse in Georgian England is part of the back story for my upcoming VEXING THE VISCOUNT.
When I ran across the South Sea debacle in my research, I knew I could use it to set up some basic conflicts in my story. Money is one of the most divisive things on earth. All I had to do was put my hero and heroine on opposite sides of the stock crash.
I wanted to use Daisy Drake, one of the orphans from PLEASURING THE PIRATE as my heroine. And because we know her as a child, I decided it would be fun if she also knew the hero as a child. Turns out Lucian Beaumont and his father visited Daisy’s family in the summer of 1720. Lord Montford tried to convince Daisy’s uncle to invest his newly discovered pirate’s gold in the South Sea Company. Daisy’s uncle refuses. Loudly. The South Sea Company intended to trade in slaves to the emerging South American nations and Gabriel Drake will not invest a cent in a slaver. Lucian’s father storms out and Daisy isn’t even able to say goodbye to the dark eyed boy who stole her heart.
When the South Sea Company crumbles and Lucian’s father is ruined, he holds a deep-seated grudge against all things Drake. Fast forward to 1731. Lucian is trying to restore his family’s fortune. He has discovered some Roman ruins on his father’s estate and hopes to follow the clues to an ancient Roman payroll that went astray. Daisy is a Latin whiz and would love to help him, but his father’s resentment makes it hard for Lucian to accept her. So by night, she masquerades as the French courtesan, Blanche La Tour, with an offer to help in the excavation. By day, Daisy plays the bespectacled Rowena Clavenhook to keep Lucian’s father from realizing he has a Drake on his property.
Playing at being a courtesan is playing with fire and Daisy is in real danger of being burned. Lucian is attracted to both Daisy and Blanche and suspicious of the similarities between them. How far will she go to prove that she’s a “woman of pleasure”? And if he gets involved with Daisy, how will he explain to his father that he’s smitten by Gabriel Drake’s niece?
So many of the nobility were caught by the South Sea scheme. Even Sir Isaac Newton lost 20,000 pounds! If you’d like to learn more about the South Sea Stock Swindle, please visit my blog here. When our market was circling the bowl, I shared about this Georgian financial disaster. It helps to keep in mind that everything is cyclical and besides, as Daisy and Lucian learn, love is much more important than money.
I’ll be awarding a signed copy of VEXING THE VISCOUNT to one lucky commenter. Just post a comment or question today or tomorrow (Jan. 10 or 11) and first thing Monday morning, I’ll pick the winner! I look forward to hearing from YOU! Be sure to check back to see if your name is drawn.