Gerard Lee Bevan was the epitome of an old-school, well-moneyed character of the 1920s—arrogant, smooth, and highly cultured. Using a seemingly bottomless well of personal charm, he married into money and influence, and was to all appearances the very model of a self-made man.
But in truth, he was a liar and manipulator of the highest order, exploiting a glittering range of social connections as the black sheep of one of London’s most respectable banking families, while lavishing gifts on his numerous adulterous conquests in a deluge of self-indulgence.
Bevan could not uphold his many deceptions, however. He had a long run of success, but ended up perpetrating a massive fraud, which brought down the once-great City Equitable Insurance Company as well as his own stockbroking firm, Ellis & Co. In 1922, Bevan fled England in ruin, abandoning his family and business, and was eventually caught in Vienna, despite his desperate attempts at disguise. His sensational Old Bailey trial would shock all of England and the world.
Fortune’s Spear is a parable of the how the prospect of easy money can draw risk-takers of every time period into a spiral of greed and deceit. In this richly detailed post-Edwardian tale of white-collar crime, Martin Vander Weyer shines a light on a fascinating bygone era, which mirrors our own contemporary financial debacles with disturbing similarity.
“Fortune’s Spear is not exactly a century-old version of The Wolf of Wall Street but will have a familiar ring to followers of today’s financial chicaneries.” —The Wall Street Journal
- ISBN: 9781628739077 |
- Hardcover: 352 pages |
- Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing |
- Publication date: Feb 4, 2014 |
- Language: English |
- Format: Ebook