The Gates of Doom

Publication date: 1914

This novel is quite easily dated.  Pauncefort refers to his losses "six months ago, when the South Sea Bubble was pricked" [Chapter I].  That Bubble's demise was in August and September 1720, so the year is 1721.  Given the year, everything falls into place based on the fact that Gaynor's trial was "the last Monday in June" [Chapter XIV].

In particular, the opening conversation between Gaynor and Pauncefort took place very early Tuesday morning, since Gaynor first met Templeton that same day and dined with him "on the morrow, which was Wednesday" [Chapter IV].  The next day, Thursday, Gaynor tells Pauncefort that the meeting at the World's End is "this day se'nnight".  Gaynor is arraigned before Sir Henry Thresh the morning after the meeting and takes his leave of Templeton the same day, then "on the morrow" [Chapter XII], i.e. Saturday, he is arrested, and his trial is the following Monday (since it was "within three days of his arrest" [Chapter XIV].  That Monday being June 26 (recall that the Julian calendar was still in use) we can work backwards to find that the opening is in the early hours of June 13.

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Copyright © 2007 Larry Denenberg