The South Sea Bubble, 1720

Peter Dickson pores over the wreckage of 18th century England's most infamous financial scandal.

Hogarthian image of the 1720 "South Sea Bubble" from the mid-19th century, by Edward Matthew Ward, Tate Gallery“The vast inundation of the South Sea,” wrote the poet Alexander Pope to his friend John Caryll in December 1720, “has drowned all, except a few unrighteous men, contrary to the deluge.” His metaphor was apt.

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