Fortune's Spear: The Story of the Blue-Blooded Rogue Behind the Most Notorious City Scandal of the 1920s

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9781907642319: Fortune's Spear: The Story of the Blue-Blooded Rogue Behind the Most Notorious City Scandal of the 1920s

A richly detailed Edwardian true crime story of an extraordinary fraud, full of parallels to contemporary financial upheavals, from Bernie Madoff to the 2008 global financial crash

 

Gerard Lee Bevan was the black sheep of one of London's most respectable banking families. A high-living womanizer and upper-class shyster of almost pantomime proportions, he exploited a glittering range of social connections. After a long run of success in City dealings he perpetrated a massive fraud which ruined both the City Equitable Fire Insurance Company and his stockbroking firm, Ellis & Co. He fled the country and was eventually arrested, tried, and jailed. Based on new research, Martin Vader Weyer tells the story of a fraud of extraordinary proportions, perpetrated by an aristocratic Englishman from a seemingly impeccable background. Exploring exactly how Bevan managed it, he reconstructs in rich Edwardian detail the environment and characters of the day, as well as Bevan's desperate attempt at disguise and flight across Europe. With resonances in today's financial world, from the 2008 crash to the likes of fraudsters such as Bernard Madoff, this compelling true crime tale offers a fascinating glimpse into a bygone financial world.

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About the Author:

Martin Vander Weyer is the business editor of the Spectator, the founding editor of Spectator Business, and a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, and other national newspapers.

Review:

"Backed by exceptional research, this is an intriguing read on financial history and reform in the early days of the 20th century from a very British perspective."—Library Journal Xpress Reviews

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Martin Vander Weyer
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Book Description Elliott Thompson Limited, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Gerard Lee Bevan was the model of an Edwardian swell - arrogant, smooth, well-connected and highly cultured. He married money and influence - his wife Sophie Kenrick was a cousin of the future prime minister Neville Chamberlain - and over the years he kept a string of showgirl mistresses. But his was a success built on fraud and deception, and eventually Bevan could sustain the fiction no longer. After a series of desperate swerves, he fled the country on 8 February 1922, abandoning his family and leaving his stockbroking and insurance empire in ruins. Thus began an extraordinary flight across Europe - disguised as a Frenchman, using a stolen passport, with his mistress at his side. His subsequent arrest in Vienna, and the Old Bailey trial that followed, would shock the entire country. Fortune s Spear is a parable of the way in which the prospect of easy money draws risk-takers in every era into a spiral of greed and deceit. Bevan may have been forgotten, but he richly deserves to be remembered. Drawing on c ontemporary evidence and told with novelistic flair, Martin Vander Weyer s gripping biography brings him vividly to life. Bookseller Inventory # POW9781907642319

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Book Description Elliott Thompson Limited, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Gerard Lee Bevan was the model of an Edwardian swell - arrogant, smooth, well-connected and highly cultured. He married money and influence - his wife Sophie Kenrick was a cousin of the future prime minister Neville Chamberlain - and over the years he kept a string of showgirl mistresses. But his was a success built on fraud and deception, and eventually Bevan could sustain the fiction no longer. After a series of desperate swerves, he fled the country on 8 February 1922, abandoning his family and leaving his stockbroking and insurance empire in ruins. Thus began an extraordinary flight across Europe - disguised as a Frenchman, using a stolen passport, with his mistress at his side. His subsequent arrest in Vienna, and the Old Bailey trial that followed, would shock the entire country. Fortune s Spear is a parable of the way in which the prospect of easy money draws risk-takers in every era into a spiral of greed and deceit. Bevan may have been forgotten, but he richly deserves to be remembered. Drawing on c ontemporary evidence and told with novelistic flair, Martin Vander Weyer s gripping biography brings him vividly to life. Bookseller Inventory # POW9781907642319

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