A master of drinking, whoring, theft - and escape!
While Jack Sheppard seems marked from birth for a terrible end, his wit and charm might just be able to cheat fate. Fate, however, seems eager to cheat him out of an honest living, when Jack begins visiting the notorious Black Lion, drinking den of the worst criminals in London. Soon he is one of the most famous scoundrels in the city - not for his crimes, but for the wonderful fact that not one of the King's fine prisons can hold him.
But Jack's luck will have to run out eventually...
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"Its incredible popularity and Ainsworth's ranking as one of the premier novelists of the period argue the need for Jack Sheppard to be in print. Without reading it, we have a necessarily distorted view of crime literature, the historical novel, popular fiction--and, indeed, the Victorian novel as a whole. This edition astutely fills in the context of the novel: its reworking of the 18th-century true-crime tradition, its notoriety as an emblem of a criminal (il)literacy, its extended life through popular theatrical adaptations, and the ensuing controversy over its possible influence. This edition will help students and general readers to understand why Ainsworth was so successful in his historical moment."--Simon JoyceAbout the Author:
William Harrison Ainsworth (4 February 1805 - 3 January 1882) was an English historical novelist born in Manchester. He trained as a lawyer, but the legal profession had no attraction for him. While completing his legal studies in London he met the publisher John Ebers, at that time manager of the King's Theatre, Haymarket. Bears introduced Ainsworth to literary and dramatic circles, and to his daughter, who became Ainsworth's wife. Ainsworth briefly tried the publishing business, but soon gave it up and devoted himself to journalism and literature. His first success as a writer came with Rookwood in 1834, which features Dick Turpin as its leading character. A stream of 39 novels followed, the last appearing in 1881. Ainsworth died in Reigate on 3 January 1882
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