Rosa Lyster

Rosa Lyster's research on the global water crisis is supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Red Flag, Green Light: Keep the Con Going

Rosa Lyster, 16 November 2023

Everyone loves​ a con artist. Since her indictment in 2018 for defrauding investors in her blood-testing startup of $700 million, Elizabeth Holmes has been the subject of two books, four documentaries and a hit miniseries. Anna Delvey, who posed as an heiress in order to swindle banks, hotels and benefactors, got out of prison last year and has since launched a podcast and released a single...

Athief​ and her three accomplices forced their way into the library of a country house, where a rich, elderly couple were listening to music on the gramophone. Waving their assault rifles, they screamed at Sir Alfred and Lady Clementine Beit to lie face down on the floor. The leader, who spoke with a strong French accent, instructed her accomplices to start with the Goya above the...

From The Blog
15 July 2022

I grew up being told that Johannesburg was ‘the lightning capital of the world’. We believed that people came from all over the world to study it, sitting on the terrace of the hotel that overlooks the Johannesburg Zoo, close enough to see the elephants and hear the lions, and watching as the white bolts tore up the sky during the afternoon storms in summer.

Diederik  De Beers took full control of the distribution channels, setting prices and constraining supply to ensure that diamonds remained aspirationally expensive even as the astonishing output of the South African mines showed that they were not particularly rare. It would be a perfect story for explaining the concept of monopoly to a child. 

At the V&A: Fabergé in London

Rosa Lyster, 27 January 2022

The eggs are shorthand for hysterical opulence, an easy target, so that even someone as patrician as Nabokov, from his deckchair on the eastern shore of Lake Geneva, could dismiss them as grotesque. They are toys that children can’t play with, objects of pure whimsy that must be handled with utter seriousness, embarrassingly over-the-top trifles made for unembarrassable people.

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