Did you know…

  • False hopes of a gold rush in Wales and a failed bank in Ireland helped to inspire a novel by Dickens?
  • Credit cards were predicted in a 19th century novel?
  • What links Phileas Fogg, the hero of Around the Word in Eighty Days and Nick Leeson?
  • Although Emile Zola wrote a great novel about banking and the Parisian bourse in the 19th century he himself never had a bank account?
  • What the connection is between the financing of the London Underground and the man who inspired an American trilogy?
  • Thackeray turned to writing after losing a fortune in Indian banks?
  • Tulips were the cause of the world’s first stock exchange crisis and a tale of financial shenanigans involving tulips, told to Alexandre Dumas by the King of Holland, provided inspiration for a novel?
  • Jules Verne was a stock broker before becoming a writer?
  • What links Tom Clancy and Sir Francis Walsingham, secretary of state and spymaster for Queen Elizabeth I at the time of the Spanish Armada?
  • Which entrepreneur known as the “railway king” served as a model for the great swindler Augustus Melmotte in a novel by Trollope?
  • Which writer with a famous literary surname specialises in novels about the world’s best-known insurance market, Lloyd’s of London?
  • Which novel, published a year earlier, was said to have foreshadowed the crash of Barings Bank?
  • Which 19th century British naval hero was imprisoned for his involvement in a stock exchange scandal and later inspired a series of works of nautical fiction?
  • Which two novelists wrote thrillers about a devastating terrorist attack on Wall Street, many years before the destruction of the World Trade Center?
  • Which financial thriller includes action on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

If the answer is no, keep an eye out for a series of blog posts by Roy Davies, coming over the next few weeks.