Nothing puts me into a Halloween mood faster than a good, spooky curse (and chocolate shaped like a pumpkin). This Halloween I'd like to share a story about the curse of the French Blue diamond which inspired my latest Regency romance, Priceless Deception.
Priceless Deception revolves around Lady Madeline Sinclair’s search for the missing French Blue diamond. Though the story itself is all fiction, the curse is all too real. The French Blue diamond has touched many famous people and events through history, and today it is known by its modern name, the Hope Diamond.
The curse of the French Blue diamond began in 1642 by a Frenchman named Jean Baptiste Tavernier. The legend states that Tavernier plucked the enormous blue diamond from the forehead or eye of an idol during his travels in India. After returning to France and selling the diamond to King Louie XIV, Tavernier continued his travels to Russia where he was reportedly ripped to pieces by wild dogs as punishment for removing the stone. The diamond was later recut and passed down to Louie XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette. Both were executed by the guillotine during the French Revolution and many believe it was the diamond’s curse that caused such a violent end. After that the French Blue was stolen and remained lost until 1812, when it mysterious appeared for sale in London. There are rumors it was purchased by King George IV, and several paintings portray him wearing a very large blue stone in a pendant.
The French Blue eventually resurfaced in America in the hands of Henry Philip Hope where it got its name the Hope Diamond. The curse soon struck again, as the once wealthy Hope family went completely bankrupt after taking possession of the diamond.In 1910 Pierre Cartier sold the diamond to Evalyn Walsh McLean who proclaimed it her good luck charm. According to some close to Evalyn, the wealthy woman was obsessed with the Hope diamond, refusing to take it off even for a goiter operation. Sadly, it not the good luck she wished for, and Evalyn’s family had their own share of tragedy. Her first born died in a car crash, her daughter committed suicide and her husband went insane and was confined to a mental institution. Many saw this as the long fingers of the diamond’s curse, but Evalyn stubbornly wore the diamond until she died. It was sold in 1941 to settle debts from her estate and purchased by Harry Winston. Winston wanted nothing to do with the diamond’s curse and later, some say for mysterious reasons, offered to donate the diamond to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.
Feel a little tingle on the back of your neck? Grab a pumpkin shaped chocolate and curl up with Priceless Deception, now available from The Wild Rose Press or visit www.JenniferAnnCoffeen.com