• The Smart: The True Story of Margaret Caroline Rudd and the Unfortunate Perreau Brothers See large image

    The Smart: The True Story of Margaret Caroline Rudd and the Unfortunate Perreau Brothers (Hardback) By (author) Sarah Bakewell


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    DescriptionA true drama of 18th-century life, featuring a mysterious heroine - Caroline, a high-class prostitute who became involved with a financial scam (or "smart") with the intriguing Perreau twins. At the trial, the twins were executed and she was freed. But was she really innocent?

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Smart

    The Smart
    The True Story of Margaret Caroline Rudd and the Unfortunate Perreau Brothers
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Sarah Bakewell
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 336
    Width: 156 mm
    Height: 234 mm
    Weight: 578 g
    ISBN 13: 9780701171094
    ISBN 10: 070117109X

    BIC subject category V2: HBLL, BGH
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T4.2
    BIC subject category V2: HBTB
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD1
    BIC time period qualifier V2: 3JF
    LC subject heading:
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DB
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC21: 941.081092
    BISAC V2.8: TRU000000, BIO000000
    LC subject heading:
    Edition statement
    illustrated edition
    Illustrations note
    facsimiles, portraits
    Imprint name
    Publication date
    19 April 2001
    Publication City/Country
    Review quote
    "A fascinating story in the shady life and scandalous times of Caroline Rudd... gripping reading." - "Daily Telegraph "Sarah Bakewell has written a scholarly biography that reads like a detective novel with a historical setting... full of sharp pen-portraits, lively asides and quirky details... every bit as colourful and enjoyable as the title suggests." - "Independent "From the Trade Paperback edition.
    Review text
    An impoverished adventuress from Ireland, the 'celebrated Mrs Rudd' arrived in 18th century London to seek her fortune through high-class prostitution. While in London she utilized her undoubted charms to ensnare many of the leading names in English society, including Dr Johnson's biographer James Boswell, but her appeal could prove fatal, as the 'unfortunate' Perreau brothers found to their cost. Identical twins, Robert and Daniel Perreau had left the West Indies and established themselves as businessmen in England, where they came into contact with Caroline Rudd. All three became involved in a scam - the 'Smart' of the title - entailing the fraudulent issue of the financial bonds. In 18th century Britain forgery was a capital offence, and those who fell foul of the law could expect little mercy. At their trial the desperate defendants each blamed each other, but Caroline's assiduous charm again won the day and she was aquitted, leaving the Perreau brothers to face the gallows. The trial forms the centrepiece of this informative book, but author Sarah Bakewell places the court proceedings against the background of a London obsessed with sex, money, fame and notoriety. As a curator at the Wellcome Institute Library, Bakewell has made a thorough trawl through the archives, including diaries, letters, pamphlets and court transcripts, to provide an illuminating account of a high-spirited woman living on her wits and making her own way in the world. (Kirkus UK)