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Lords of the Ring: A Deadly Rivalry in Three Acts

Against the backdrop of the licentious era of Georgian beaus, bucks, dandies, sporting Corinthians, actors and prostitutes, two men – first friends, later enemies – compete to establish the modern-day circus. This lightly fictionalised account of the rivalry between Philip Astley (1742–1814) and Charles Hughes (1746-1797) features many famous characters including Beau Brummell, Lord Byron, Thomas de Quincey, Jane Austen and Mary Shelley. The two men vie for sexual prowess, commercial supremacy and official recognition but, in the end, only one man can survive to become Lord of the Ring …

Christopher Joll’s original and entertaining book focuses on some of the remarkable spoils of war seized during the age of empire by British soldiers, sailors and airmen. Each of these tangible trophies of victory, ranging from the priceless to the valueless, has a story which Joll recounts – and sometimes debunks - with style, humour and insight.
— Michael Portillo, broadcaster and former Secretary of State for Defence 
Wars come and go, battlefields grow over, memories fade. But the objects that were seized – the trophies from the conquered - remain as pulsating  testaments to the epic and tragic events that surrounded them. Christopher Joll has a magpie’s eye for a story, combined with the dogged research skills to sniff out and solve mysteries. No one is better equipped to ignite history in this tangible and novel way –  objects steeped in glory, pathos and mystery that he brings back to life with the touch paper of his enthusiasm and insight.
— Philip Mould, presenter, Antiques Roadshow and Fake or Fortune?