Saturday, January 10, 2009

Guest Blogger Emily Bryan

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.

Liz

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.

Emily

23 comments:

Kim Cox said...

VEXING THE VISCOUNT sounds very interesting. I'd never heard of the South Sea Stock Swindle.

traveler said...

thanks for your interesting post today. Vexing the Viscount sounds intriguing and unique.

Mona said...

Hello again Emily:)
You already know I'm a fan of Vexing The Viscount especially the part of the two characters played by one person and each one is opposite the other. I find that extremely fascinating.

EmilyBryan said...

I ran across the financial scandal while I was doing my research and was amazed that there was such a well-developed stock market in the 18th century. And the frenzy the London market generated at that time rivaled our Wall Street. Of course, things happpened at a slower pace, but fortunes were definitely made and lost just with a few trades.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I love it when books incorporate real historical events within the storyline. Even if it is fictionalized, it's a great way to add real atmosphere to the story.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading Emily's books and have added this one to my TBR list
Joye

Marie said...

Vexing the Viscount sounds really good. Keeping my fingers crossed :)

danosor said...

All i know is"I'd love to read it".

tetewa said...

Been following the blog tour from the beginning with the hopes of winning a copy! tWarner419@aol.com

Jane said...

Was anyone held accountable for the South Sea Stock Swindle?

EmilyBryan said...

Good question, Jane. And the answer is no.

Mostly because the Crown was so cozy with the organizers and re-structured the company's debt. This mark of royal favor sent the stock soaring even higher. When it finally crumbled without ever making one trip to its exclusive trading zone (all the emerging South American countries), the entire market, which was seriously inflated, followed The South Sea Company into the tank.

The investors lost everything. But since the goal of the The South Sea Company was to import slaves from Africa to South America, I think financial ruin is just.

Eva S said...

Thanks for your intersting post, you always make me "googling" for more!
And I'd love to read about Daisy and Lucian!

Deborah said...

Hi Emily! Thank you for the intriguing post! I'd never heard of the South Sea Stock Swindle. Your book Vexing the Viscount sounds more and more interesting all the time! I can't wait to read it!

Virginia said...

I loved your post. Vexing The Viscount sound like a fabulous read and I can't wait to read it. I do love your books.

Colleen Thompson said...

This is a fascinating bit of history, something I first read about in an older Barbara Dawson Smith book. I found it fascinating and I'm looking forward to reading about in your book.

Margie said...

Hi Emily! Thank you so much for the fascinating post! Vexing the Viscount sounds very intriguing!

Elaine Cantrell said...

I'd never heard of the South Sea Stock Swindle. Guess there really isn't anything new in the world.

Sue A. said...

Learning all this background info makes the story richer and shows me that we are more connected with the past than we like to think.

LuAnn said...

Lucian really is stuck between a rock and a hard place!

Pan Zareta said...

Interesting historical information! Always like it when real facts get put into fictional books.

EmilyBryan said...

What is it they always say? Those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

The South Sea Bubble was a long con. The company secured exclusive rights from the Crown to trade with South America. This monopoly telegraphed enormous profits were about to be had. So they kept selling shares, and re-structuring debt and all the while, not a single ship ever sailed.

Like all cons, it only succeeded because the marks were greedy. According to the well-placed rumors, the company was poised to make a killing. Investors were promised incredible returns. Everyone wanted a piece.

And those who grabbed the largest slice, got the biggest belly ache.

donnas said...

That's cool that you try to use actual historical events. I have never heard of the South Sea Stock Swindle before.

EmilyBryan said...

Thank you all for commenting today and may you never be caught in a financial "bubble!"

My DH has chosen commenter # 3--MONA! Please contact me through my website and send me your mailing information. Thanks.

I'm playing the STATUS GAME today at www.anitabirtstoryteller.blogspot.com. Come on over and play with us. It's fun. It's free. And you just might win a copy of VEXING THE VISCOUNT!