The Tontine is a saga in two volumes by Thomas B. Costain. This two volume set was published in 1955 by Doubleday and Company, Inc., Garden City New York. The books are illustrated by Herbert Ryman. Vol. I and Vol. II together have 930 pages.
The books have gray cloth covered boards with turquoise blue on spine an gold imprint. The top edge is turquoise and the front edges of the pages are untrimmed. The top and bottom of Vol. II spine shows some wear up close; Vol. I has just a tiny bit of wear at the bottom of the spine. Corners are beginning to show wear, again slight. The only marks are previous owners name on the fly page. One has been blacked out. I bought these at the opposite side of the country and had several boxes of books shipped. It looks like Vol. II was caught in mail sorting or lifting resulting in two impressions in the back boards. I have attached a photo but it may not show on your computer screen.
A tontine is a business investment or trust where all investors are paid dividends but do not get their money back. When one of the investors dies, the principle is divided up between the remaining investors. When only one investor remains that investor receive the principle or it goes to the government depending on how the tontine is set up.
After a few hundred years of popularity tontines have mostly been banned officially because there was a tendency to hurry the demise of the other members of the tontine. Many authors have used the tontine as a theme for their books. Costain is by no means the first.