In 1836, Charles Harrod found himself in a prison hulk awaiting transportation to Tasmania for seven years' hard labor. He had been convicted of receiving stolen goods, and this should have been the beginning of the end for his fledgling business. And yet, in miraculously escaping his fate and vowing to turn his back on crime, he would become the much-esteemed founder of the now-legendary Harrods in London's fashionable Knightsbridge district. Some years later, Charles was succeeded by his son, who took the shop from a successful local grocer to a remarkable department store, patronized by the wealthy and famous. This book reveals the previously unknown and scandalous origins of the store, and follows its remarkable fortunes to the end of the 19th century, when its shares were floated on the stock exchange, thus completing one of the most extraordinary comeback stories in the history of commerce.