The Land That Never Was by David Sinclair
Sir Gregor Macgregor And The Most Audacious Fraud In History

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Once upon a time, in the heart of Central America, there was a country named Poyais. It was exceptionally rich in natural resources, civilization, and culture and was ruled by the brave and enlightened Scottish soldier, Sir Gregor MacGregor, who became its ruler after his heroic exploits in the fight for South American independence. On a cold January morning in 1823, a group of Scottish immigrants looking for a new life set sail for this tropical Eden called Poyais. The only catch was that it didn't exist.Two months later the ship landed on the swamp-infested Mosquito Coast and the settlers realized that they had become the victims of one of the most elaborate hoaxes in history. The land they had been sold was nonexistent, the banknotes and guidebooks they carried with them were forgeries, their documents were worthless. Poyais was a fiction. The man responsible? Sir Gregor MacGregor. Who was this eccentric, scurrilous man? And why is he such a loveable rogue?

About David Sinclair

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David Sinclair is the author of eight previous books, including the recent Hall of Mirrors and the best-selling The Pound: A Biography. He has enjoyed a long career as a senior journalist with some of Britain's leading newspapers. He divides his time between London and Normandy.
Published January 7, 2004 by Da Capo Press. 384 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The author follows the swindler from his early failures in the British military to his creation of a false lineage and a false identity.

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Publishers Weekly

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Appointing himself "His Highness Gregor, Cazique of Poyais," MacGregor spread word of this purported utopia throughout Britain, describing weather patterns, soil and vegetation, and the government and enviable lack of taxes.

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Entertainment Weekly

Originally posted Jan 09, 2004 Published in issue #745 Jan 09, 2004 Order article reprints

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Bookmarks Magazine

In the 1820s, Sir Gregor MacGregor, a soldier who fought in the South American wars of liberation, returned to Britain to advertise his amazing discovery: the South American nation of Poyais.

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ForeWord Reviews

Sir Gregor MacGregor (1786?1845), con man extraordinaire, was known for his “intemperate and unusual enjoyments.” Denied these, he might have made his name as a military officer, a liberator of Spain’s New World colonial possessions, or a promoter of British settlements in the Caribbean.

Dec 28 2004 | Read Full Review of The Land That Never Was: Sir ...

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