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Britain's Most Notorious Highwaywoman (Hardback)

The Life of Mary Frith

Local History British History True Crime London Social History Women of History Tudors & Stuarts Tudors and Stuarts

By Nick Holland
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781526722270
Published: 30th April 2019

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As featured in...

As seen in The Bookseller, October 2018

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Mary Frith was born in London in the 1580s, and she became one of the city's most famous, and infamous, women in the first half of the seventeenth century. Turning her back on servitude and drudgery, Mary instead carved out a life of excitement and scandal that led to the London stage, Newgate prison and Bedlam. Known to her contemporaries as Moll Cutpurse she courted controversy for dressing as a man and her wild ways as much as for her many criminal activities, but she inspired plays by Dekker, Middleton and even Shakespeare himself. Her epitaph was written by John Milton, but her incredible story could only have been written by Mary herself.

This new biography of Mary Frith aims to bring to light one of the seventeenth century's most fascinating women. Using a variety of documentary sources and contemporary records, Nick Holland pieces together a life which was as daring as it was unconventional. We'll see whether Mary really did escape from a ship bound for America to start a new life as one of London's criminal overlords, and we'll look at how she became such an inspiration for literary society of the day. Did Mary really become a highwayman to hold up a Roundhead general? Did she keep a coterie of pets including monkeys and eagles? Did she have the power to decide who was hanged and who lived, and why was she committed to the Bethlehem Lunatic Asylum? Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

As featured by

The Bookseller 5/10/18

About Nick Holland

Nick Holland was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire in 1971. He is a best selling fiction writer, who has now become a successful non-fiction author. His recent biography of Anne Brontë was critically acclaimed, with the Mail On Sunday calling it 'an excellent book full of passion and pathos'. Nick has long been fascinated by the story of his fellow Yorkshire Catholic Guy Fawkes, and this new biography allows him to reveal the man behind the myth.

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