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The Tontine--Volume I

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Title:The Tontine--Volume I
Costain, Thomas B.   
(20 of 22 for author by title)
The Tontine--Volume II
The Three Edwards: The Pageant of England [Plantagenets #3]
Published:   1955
Publisher:Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Tags:fiction, historical, Family Saga, lottery

Spanning 60+ years, beginning on the day Waterloo was won, it is a multigenerational story of 3 families during the Industrial Revolution. Lots of detailed descriptions of life among the varied social classes, it has been likened to stories by Dickens. It’s a very good historical fiction.

A tontine is a life insurance scheme, stratified by age. Enrollees received payouts after an initial growth period, the amounts determined by the number of living recipients. Over time, as participants died, the payouts became more and more substantial. Towards the end, when the recipients became a mere handful, all sorts of betting occurred in the general populace on who would be the last survivor.—Virginia @ Goodreads.com. [Suggest a different description.]

Pages:493 Info

Author Bio for Costain, Thomas B.

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Thomas Bertram Costain (May 8, 1885 – October 8, 1965) was a Canadian journalist who became a best-selling author of historical novels at the age of 57.

Costain's work is a mixture of commercial history (such as The White and The Gold, a history of New France to around 1720) and fiction that relies heavily on historic events (one review stated it was hard to tell where history leaves off and apocrypha begins). His most popular novel was The Black Rose (1945), centred in the time and actions of Bayan of the Baarin also known as Bayan of the Hundred Eyes. Costain noted in his foreword that he initially intended the book to be about Bayan and Edward I, but became caught up in the legend of Thomas a Becket's parents: an English knight married to an Eastern girl. The book was a selection of the Literary Guild with a first printing of 650,000 copies and sold over two million copies in its first year.

His research led him to believe that Richard III was a great monarch tarred by conspiracies, after his death, with the murder of the princes in the tower. Costain supported his theories with documentation, suggesting that the real murderer was Henry VII.


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