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5 Times Joss Sheldon Just Truth-Bombed History

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We’ve been fans of Joss Sheldon for a long time, here at BuzzFeed Books, putting his last novel into our list of the five most thought-provoking novels of all time.

Now Sheldon is set to return with the eagerly anticipated release of his fourth novel, “Money Power Love”. As always, he has outdone himself – truth-bombing history on an almost pagely basis.

BuzzFeed was given an exclusive sneak peek into Sheldon’s new tome. In amongst a roller-coaster of a tale that surges through the years, this is what we learnt…

1.

ENCLOSURE ACTS

Back in the 1700s, pretty much everyone in Britain had access to farmland. They were smallholders, their own bosses, with independence and autonomy unlike anything we have today. What happened? The rich happened, that’s what! The gentry passed thousands of laws, known as the Enclosure Acts, and then took about one sixth of British land for themselves. Hundreds of thousands of Brits were forced to abandon their independent lifestyles, leave their villages, and find work in factories. It was these factories which fuelled the Industrial Revolution.

2.

THE SEX CAPITAL OF EUROPE

London was known as “The sex capital of Europe” in the 1800s. According to one estimate, there were around 50,000 prostitutes in the city back then, even though the population was barely a million! This number included a royal melange of working ladies – kept mistresses, brothel dwellers, street walkers, park ladies, soldiers’ women, and sailors’ women – to name just a few.

3.

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THE PAPER ALCHEMISTS:

People used to use coins which contained silver and gold, but there was a problem – silver and gold was in short supply. For centuries, people made do – extending credit until debts could be paid, and issuing tally sticks – the predecessor of the modern banknote. Then goldsmiths began to issue receipts for the gold people deposited in their safes. Very few of those notes were ever exchanged for gold, they were spent as if they were money. The goldsmiths created more notes, and then some more, and then some more. They became bankers, with the power to create money out of nothing – using it to fund the expansion of the British Empire.

4.

THE REAL NEDD LUDD

The word “Luddite” is used as an insult these days, but the Luddites were part of a wider social movement which fought for the little guy – campaigning for workers’ rights. They were led by a certain Nedd Ludd, a Robin Hood type figure, whose face was painted ghostly white. Ludd went from town to town, with a pike in hand, inspiring the people to rise up. He encouraged thousands to take to the streets. Oh, and he didn’t actually exist. But that didn’t matter – the myth meant more than the man.

5.

THE INDIAN GENOCIDE

We like to think of genocide as a foreign thing – something done by the Rwandans or Germans or Soviets. The truth is a little more grisly. Back in the days of empire, the British were genocide kings! In India, they forced Indian peasants to grow cotton instead of food. When famine hit, so little land was left producing food that ten million people starved to death. Had the British not been ruling the land, those people would have probably survived. The British also completely wiped out the Vandemonian Aborigines, flooded China with opium, and forced nationhood onto vast swathes of Africa.

Money Power Love is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Apple iStore.

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