Historical Fictionistas discussion

Goodreads Author Zone > Finding a Count

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Myers I am looking for some ideas on how to go about researching for a character in my next novel. He is mentioned in U.S. court testimony as a bad influence on one of my main protagonists. She lent him $20,000 to 'invest' sometime in the 1880s and lost it all. He is mentioned as Count de La Salle from Paris. I have no first name nor information beyond that he may have been a gambler and swindler. This gives me a lot of leeway for fiction, but if anyone has any ideas on how to go about finding out more please - I am open to them!

message 2: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Hart (pamelahart) | 34 comments de la Salle sounds like a false name to me.

message 3: by Sheila (last edited May 08, 2015 05:31AM) (new)

Sheila Myers Interesting that you say that. My editor in England said the same thing. He said it may have been a name used to hide his real identity. It may be a useless hunt.

message 4: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Myers I was thinking though it would help for me to read a book on the gambling parlours in Paris. And/or conmen of the Victorian era to get some ideas.

message 5: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Hart (pamelahart) | 34 comments I suspect con men haven't changed much over the years. An air of affluence, a claim of aristocracy, charm, ruthlessness and an eye to the main chance...

message 6: by Sanne (new)

Sanne (sanneennas) | 27 comments de la Salle is a historical and aristocratic name. I know of a Gadifer de la Salle who was an adventurer and crusader in the 14th century. He was no count, though, and his family never amounted to much (from what little I know). Sounds like your conman knew of Gadifer de la Salle (something surely well-read people of the 1880's knew) and used his name to make himself seem more wealthy/higher-status than he really was.

Well, either that, or the de la Salle family truely did rise in status in the 4 centuries between Gadifer and your man. But that sounds like you've got your work cut out for you to rummage through 19th century lists of French aristocracy.

message 7: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Myers Makes for good fiction!

message 8: by Darcy (new)

Darcy (drokka) | 100 comments Also, de la Salle may not be false, but the title could have been and used to impress. People didn't tend to question titles often, unless they were titled themselves. It was taken for granted that 'gentlemen' didn't lie.

message 9: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Hart (pamelahart) | 34 comments If it was a false name, he may have been to a de la Salle Brothers' school in France...

message 10: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Myers I nailed down a possibility. If there are any people out there with knowledge of French aristos I would appreciate some assistance. I do not speak or read french. Here is the family I believe https://www.dma.org/collection/artwor...

Almeric Berthrier Comte de le Salle. He had three sons. It would have to be one that was born between 1830-1860. And it would have to be one that inherited the title. Although I am not sure how it worked in France. Anything helps. Thanks.

back to top