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Millionaire by Janet Gleeson
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Millionaire

The Philanderer, Gambler, and Duelist Who Invented Modern Finance

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Narrator Esther Wane
Length 8 hours
Language English
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On the death of France's most glorious king, Louis XIV, in 1715, few people benefited from the shift in power more than the intriguing financial genius from Edinburgh, John Law. Law had proposed to the English monarch that a bank be established to issue paper money with the credit based on the value of land. But Queen Anne was not about to take advice from a gambler and felon. So, in exile in Paris, he convinced the bankrupt court of Louis XV of the value of his idea.

Law soon engineered the revival of the French economy and found himself one of the most powerful men in Europe. The shareholders in his new trading company made such enormous profits that the term "millionaire" was coined to describe them. Paris was soon in a frenzy of speculation, conspiracies, and insatiable consumption. Before this first boom-and-bust cycle was complete, markets throughout Europe crashed, the mob began calling for Law's head, and his visionary ideas about what money could do were abandoned and forgotten.

In Millionaire, Janet Gleeson lucidly reconstructs this epic drama where fortunes were made and lost, paupers grew rich, and lords fell into penuryโ€”and a modern fiscal philosophy was born.

Janet Gleeson is the author of the bestseller The Arcanum, as well as Millionaire, The Grenadillo Box, and The Serpent in the Garden. She lives with her family in Dorset.

Esther Wane is a British actor and voice-over artist. After a career in finance Esther fulfilled a childhood dream of going to drama school in London, and her life as an actor began at age forty. She has a lifelong passion for literature and can often be found browsing bookshops at any spare moment. She owes her career in audiobooks to her impression of Joanna Lumley and has since narrated books in many genres, including memoir, politics, romantic fiction, and children's literature. She enjoys taking her listeners on a journey in time and space and bringing the characters on the page to life in their imagination. She lives with her family and collection of books in Hertfordshire, just outside London, where she has built a professional voice studio in the bottom of her garden.

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