The Land That Never Was
Sir Gregor Macgregor And The Most Audacious Fraud In History
By David Sinclair
(Da Capo Press, Hardcover, 9780306813092, 384pp.)
Publication Date: January 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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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?
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.