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Con Men and Cutpurses: Scenes from the Hogarthian Underworld

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Crime flourished in eighteenth-century England, thanks to the conspicuous wealth of the upper classes and the lack of any kind of police force. Many people, bound by a life of exhausting poverty, saw highwaymen, thieves, pirates and prostitutes as glamorous rebels. When Jack Sheppard, burglar, daring escapee and idol of the London mob, eventually met his end, weeping girls dressed in white lined the route to Tyburn. This enthralling collection of memoirs, newspaper reports, satires and ballads takes us deep into this murky world. From ingenious pickpocket Jenny Diver to Machiavellian thief-taker Jonathan Wild, we come face to face with the Hogarthian characters who believed a short life of 'plenty, satiety, pleasure and ease, liberty and power' was well worth the price of 'a sour look or two at choking'.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140437607
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucy Moore was born in London, raised in Massachusetts, and educated at Edinburgh University. She writes for a wide variety of British magazines and newspapers as well as The Washington Times. She is the author of two previous books of British history including Con Men and Cutpurses (Penguin).

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Table of Contents

A Note on the Texts
Further Reading
1 The Hogarthian Underworld 1
2 Murderers 37
3 Prostitutes 59
4 Thieves 83
5 Pirates 123
6 Sex Offenders 159
7 Highwaymen 185
8 Confidence Tricksters 219
9 A Miscellany 249
10 Cant Glossary 285
App The Black Act 291
Acknowledgements 301
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