The Pinchbeck Peer: Book One

Set in 1780, Fabius is a callow undergraduate when the family falls onto hard times – relatively speaking. He is forced out of Cambridge and becomes a Militia officer on a tiny allowance. While serving he dabbles in pugilism and shows himself handy with his fists and is well-liked. The mess of any Militia battalion is a hard-drinking establishment; while under the influence he makes a number of foolish bets, double-or-quits, and wakes up the following morning to find himself owing 512 – ten years of his allowance. Knowing that his creditor – a merchant’s son – will have no hesitation in going to law and putting him in debtor’s prison, Fabius absconds.

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