Nat Gould

His life and books

Golden Ruin

First published by Routledge in 1898.

Edward Burden, a Brisbane bank clerk, determines to make himself wealthy. He forges a cheque on the account of his friend Bertie Wollaston to buy shares he knows will rise in value. Although he quickly replaces the stolen money, a junior clerk noticed the theft. Burden moves to London where he becomes immensely rich, with a mania for hoarding gold sovereigns, and buys racehorses. Having little interest in horse racing himself he hires Bertie to manage his stables, and marries a successful lady novelist.

His past returns to haunt him when the junior clerk arrives in London. Dramatic events follow, leading to a thrilling climax on Ascot racecourse, and the "golden ruin" of Burden.

This is an outstandingly good story, of which any novelist could be truly proud. It is perhaps Nat Gould's very best, his masterpiece. The novel may have been special to him, as he includes scenes well known to him personally - the river voyage from Brisbane past Humpy Bong and Redcliff where he met his wife, and the description of Bedfont village near London that he made his final home.

If you only read one Nat Gould novel, read this! (TA)