THE GAMESTER by Rafael Sabatini


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Still a name to count on? I suppose so, and once again this is dependable romance and adventure in an historical novel of early 18th century France- in the period following the death of Louise XIV. The country was virtually bankrupt; Philip of Orleans assumed the regency; John Law wins control of the finances. Here is all the scandal, intrigue, jealousy, rivalry, debauchery, corruption and splendour of the court. Here is Law's love life; the scoundrel Count of Horn tried to make love to Law's wife and was ruined by him; the Countess of Horn turns out to be Margaret Ogilvy, the only woman Law ever loved, through whose intervention Law had been exiled from England, rather than put to death after a duel. Only after Law faces ruin with the collapse of speculation does he realize that his presumably shrewish wife Catherine, really loves him... Lots of color and drama here, but the pace is often slowed down by descriptions of the financial finagling. Not the old cloak and sword Sabatini, but one with more serious intent to present facets of history.

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 1949
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin