John Law: A Scottish Adventurer of the Eighteenth Century

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9781848666085: John Law: A Scottish Adventurer of the Eighteenth Century
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At the summit of his power, John Law was the most famous man in Europe.

Born in Scotland in 1671, he was convicted of murder in London and, after his escape from prison, fled Scotland for the mainland when Union with England brought with it a warrant for his arrest.

On the continent he lurched from one money-making scheme to the next - selling insurance against losing lottery tickets in Holland, advising the Duke of Savoy - amassing a fortune of some £80,000.

But for his next trick he had grander ambitions. When Louis XIV died, leaving a thoroughly bankrupt France to his five-year-old heir, Law gained the ear of the Regent, Philippe D'Orleans. In the years that followed, Law's financial wizardry transformed the fortunes of France, enriching speculators and investors across the continent, and he was made Controller-General of Finances, effectively becoming the French Prime Minister.

But the fall from grace that was to follow was every bit as spectacular as his meteoric rise.

John Law, by a biographer of Adam Smith and the author of Frozen Desire and Capital of the Mind, dramatises the life of one of the most inventive financiers in history, a man who was born before his time and in whose day the word millionaire came to be coined.

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Review:

A wonderful portrait of Law's Paris and Europe, of the Regent and the Jacobites. I loved it and could hardly put it down. (Philip Mansel)

Excellent . . . Buchan's book is both scrupulously researched and humanely curious . . . It has Jacobite politics, elopements, prisons breaks and court scandal . . . much to savour. (Stuart Kelly Scotland on Sunday.)

In Buchan, Law has at last found a biographer who combines an expert understanding of finance, a profound knowledge of 18th-century history, and a novelist's gift for anecdote and pace. The result is an immensely valuable and enjoyable book that conjures a narrative worthy of Robert Louis Stevenson out of a deeply impressive harvest of primary archival research. It is history of the highest class, and will take its place deservedly as the standard biography of Law. (Felix Martin Financial Times.)

Erudite, elegantly-written . . . Full of interesting people, variously disgraceful or brilliant, and of compelling stories overlapped . . . Buchan is possessed of a remarkably well-furnished mind. His story is a tremendous one. (Lucy Hughes-Hallett New Statesman.)

One of our finest writers. (John Burnside The Times.)

I don't believe this country has a better writer to offer than James Buchan. (Michael Hofmann London Review of Books.)

An utterly compelling and captivating work . . . he brings a natural storyteller's relish to his subject (Irvine Welsh Guardian, on The Capital of the Mind.)

Mr Buchan has a clear writing style, a light touch and a irreverent sense of humour . . . he makes difficult subjects accessible and, sometimes, poetic. (Economist.)

In Mr. Buchan's able hands, Smith and his words come across as they should, in all their lucidity and elegance. (William Grimes New York Times, on Adam Smith: and the Pursuit of Perfect Liberty.)

James Buchan's elegant prose sparkles on the page. (New Statesman.)

Book Description:

The mesmerising story of the eighteenth-century financier of genius who rose from humble Scottish origins to control of the purse-strings of the most powerful nation in Europe

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Book Description Quercus Publishing, United Kingdom, 2020. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. At the summit of his power, John Law was the most famous man in Europe. Born in Scotland in 1671, he was convicted of murder in London and, after his escape from prison, fled Scotland for the mainland when Union with England brought with it a warrant for his arrest. On the continent he lurched from one money-making scheme to the next - selling insurance against losing lottery tickets in Holland, advising the Duke of Savoy - amassing a fortune of some GBP80,000.But for his next trick he had grander ambitions. When Louis XIV died, leaving a thoroughly bankrupt France to his five-year-old heir, Law gained the ear of the Regent, Philippe D'Orleans. In the years that followed, Law's financial wizardry transformed the fortunes of France, enriching speculators and investors across the continent, and he was made Controller-General of Finances, effectively becoming the French Prime Minister. But the fall from grace that was to follow was every bit as spectacular as his meteoric rise.John Law, by a biographer of Adam Smith and the author of Frozen Desire and Capital of the Mind, dramatises the life of one of the most inventive financiers in history, a man who was born before his time and in whose day the word millionaire came to be coined. Seller Inventory # HUK9781848666085

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Book Description Quercus Publishing, United Kingdom, 2020. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. At the summit of his power, John Law was the most famous man in Europe. Born in Scotland in 1671, he was convicted of murder in London and, after his escape from prison, fled Scotland for the mainland when Union with England brought with it a warrant for his arrest. On the continent he lurched from one money-making scheme to the next - selling insurance against losing lottery tickets in Holland, advising the Duke of Savoy - amassing a fortune of some GBP80,000.But for his next trick he had grander ambitions. When Louis XIV died, leaving a thoroughly bankrupt France to his five-year-old heir, Law gained the ear of the Regent, Philippe D'Orleans. In the years that followed, Law's financial wizardry transformed the fortunes of France, enriching speculators and investors across the continent, and he was made Controller-General of Finances, effectively becoming the French Prime Minister. But the fall from grace that was to follow was every bit as spectacular as his meteoric rise.John Law, by a biographer of Adam Smith and the author of Frozen Desire and Capital of the Mind, dramatises the life of one of the most inventive financiers in history, a man who was born before his time and in whose day the word millionaire came to be coined. Seller Inventory # HUK9781848666085

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