Tontine is a form of gambling - part lottery, part insurance. It begins with the Day the Battle of Waterloo was fought and ends at the closing of the 19th Century. It's cast includes Actors, Kings, Sailors, Artists, etc. It is filled with romance.
It takes place beginning on the day the Duke of Wellington defeats Bonaparte at Waterloo, and follows the fortunes of two rival families through Regency and early Victorian England, along with their friends, lovers, enemies and many famous figures who have 'walk-on' parts.
The title comes from a type of lottery popular in England at the time, in which four of the young characters are enrolled by their parents, and the tontine is instrumental in each of their lives, right to the last.