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Good in Fair jacket. 1955 Book Club edition; some bumping to spine ends, bit of yellowing to pastedowns, partial sticker on fep; Jacket is Fair-considerable edge wear and rubbing with small tears along the edges; This tontine (a 19th century combo of lottery, life insurance and last-man's club) starts on the day of Waterloo and ends as the century draws to a close. The drama touches royalty and millionaires, actresses and sailors, planters and portrait painters. It ranges from London to the Caribbean, driven by a world in high gear, a world powered by greed. But time flies by. Three survivors wait each other out. Then two, and at last, only one...a winner with everything but a future.
I first read the Tontine 50 some years ago , I find is somewhat aged by now , but think it well worth reading again. I was always fascinated with the Idea of a Tontine . ciao
Jul 28, 2011
Engaging Historical Novel
This 2-volume work was popular in the 1950's
when people took time to read good books.
The Tontine is a precursor of life insurance,
annuities and the lottery. The book follows a
cast of characters in 19th century England for
a period of about 75 years and geographically
from England to France to Jamaica to South
Africa and the USA. As each survivor receives a greater and greater annual sum, we follow events to the last person. Along the way the author lets us feel the daily life of folks in many
strata of 19th century England and the disastrous effects of international finance and globalization\
(before that word gained currency). Even with
900+ pages it's a 'page turner'.
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