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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?

My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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    Love Me Back

    Merritt Tierce 9780385538077


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Gentlemen & Blackguards: Gambling Mania and the Plot to Steal the Derby of 1844


Gentlemen & Blackguards: Gambling Mania and the Plot to Steal the Derby of 1844 Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An incredible slice of Victorian social history, complete with aristocratic extravagance, rogues and rascals, obsession, dueling, suicide, and murder
In the early 19th century, gambling was a grave social ill that was largely uncontrolled and corrupt. The 1830s saw the institution of the Poor Law, the abolition of slavery, the regulation of child labor, the birth of the police force, and the widening of parliamentary representation, but gambling was much as it had been since the 18th century: games of faro, hazard, whist, and roulette could be played in houses around the West End; with racing self-regulated by the Jockey Club and a vaguely defined sense of honor. Racing was the chief national sporting obsession, however, its popularity was at odds with the increasingly regulated tempo of life in the 1840s, and moralists began to inveigh against the vice. The government was on a mission to clean up, if not eradicate, gambling in Britain and the premier race, the Derby, was put on public trial. The Derby of 1844 was expected to be a two-horse race between Ugly Buck and Ratan, owned respectively by John Gully, a social-climbing former prize-fighter, and his great rival, William Crockford, the club owner. The race itself was full of drama, not least when it became apparent that the horses had both been doped. Nick Foulkes brilliantly takes William Powell Frith's painting "Derby Day" as the inspiration for a gripping story. There are strong characters, the tension of class rivalries, the drama of the race and the trial, as well as the opportunity to use the gambling of the time as a lens through which to view the wider social change of the period.

About the Author

Former associate editor of the Evening Standard's ES magazine, Nicholas Foulkes writes regularly for Country Life, the Financial Times, and the Mail on Sunday. He is the author of High Society: The History of America's Upper Class and The Trench Book.

Product Details

Foulkes, Nicholas
Horse racing
Crime - True Crime
World History-England General
Great britain
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
8 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Horse Racing
Reference » Science Reference » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports General

Gentlemen & Blackguards: Gambling Mania and the Plot to Steal the Derby of 1844 New Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Phoenix - English 9780753824757 Reviews:
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