Jabez : The Rise and Fall of a Victorian Rogue

3.33 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
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Jabez, as he was universally known, was a business man, philanthropist, politician, temperance campaigner and charmer. He was also an astonishing scoundrel - a liar, adulterer and cheat - who perpetrated the most destructive fraud of the nineteenth century. When the Liberator building society collapsed under the weight of its own extravagant malpractice, thousands of people were left defrauded and destitute. Jabez, the Liberator's moving spirit, immediately took flight to Argentina, accompanied (scandalously) by a female ward half his age. Eventually, a determined Scotland Yard detective caught up withJabez, and kidnapped him on a high-speed train across South America from whence he was hauled back to justice.David McKie's account of the rise and fall of this charismatic swindler brings the man and the times trumpeting to life.McKie describes the massive charm offensives, the growth and collapse of the vast Jabez empire, his scandalous escape and dramatic extradition, and the sensational show trail that followed.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 26mm | 299.38g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1843541319
  • 9781843541318
  • 1,692,105

Review quote

'A fair-minded, well-researched and impressively written biography.' Andrew Roberts, Sunday Telegraph; 'Jabez opens like a detective story and the breathless pace of David McKie's biography barely lets up for the next 300 pages... A page-turning thriller.' Jon Barnes, Times Literary Supplement; 'A fast-moving thriller, full of action, colour and (at times) laughter... Riveting.' Jonathan Aitken, New Statesman; 'A tight and engaging yarn.' Simon Garfield, Financial Times; 'An entertaining, original and beautifully written book.' Simon Heffer, Daily Mail
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About David McKie

David McKie joined the Guardian in 1965. He was deputy editor from 1975 to 1984 and now writes the 'Elsewhere' and 'Smallweed' columns for the paper.
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Rating details

12 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
5 8% (1)
4 33% (4)
3 42% (5)
2 17% (2)
1 0% (0)
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