The Duchess and the Jeweler
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You might want to begin your essay by addressing the class system in Victorian England. Oliver Bacon rose from complete destitution to being the richest jeweler in England, but it wasn't just talent that secured his financial success.
Bacon's new position afforded him recognition. He was invited to the best parties, mingled with the aristocracy, and conducted business with them, all in a bid to become one of them, but no matter where he was invited or what function he attended, he could never be one of them. His dealings with the Duchess were financial; she needed money, and he bought pearls he knew to be fake in order to gain access to her social strata, to get closer to the Duchess' daughter. Note, in the story, we are never apprised that he actually knew the pearls were fake...... he showed suspicion, and the Duchess worked her magic of manipulation, but I've always felt he really knew. I believe he thought the money worth the time spent with Diana.