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The Lives and Exploits of the Most Noted Highwaymen, Rogues and Murderers (Paperback)

True Crime Social History

By Stephen Basdeo
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781526713162
Published: 11th September 2018


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For as long as human societies have existed there have always been people who have always transgressed the laws of their respective societies. It seems that whenever new laws are made, certain people find ways to break them.

This book will introduce you to some of the most notorious figures, from all parts of the world, who have committed heinous crimes such as highway robbery, murder, and forgery. Beginning with Bulla Felix, the Roman highwayman, this book traces the careers of medieval outlaws such as Robin Hood and Adam Bell. Early modern murderers also make an appearance, such as Sawney Beane, whose story inspired the cult horror movie The Hills Have Eyes (1977). Learn also about the crimes and daring escapes of Jack Sheppard, an eighteenth-century criminal who escaped from prison on several occasions, and find out if the ‘gentlemanly’ highwayman, Dick Turpin, was truly a gentleman. the ruffian Dick Turpin.

This book also includes an appendix of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century thieves’ cant, as well as several historical poems, songs, and ballads relating to the subjects discussed, and the work is prefaced with an essay highlighting the significance of crime literature throughout history.

This book has a very clear audience, and I don't think I'm it. It was very well researched and you can tell the author worked really hard. I'm just not the person it was intended for.

NetGalley, reviewed by Kymberly Whitacre

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Readers of True Crimes and history this is a must read book and can't be missed.

NetGalley, reviewed by Heidi Wimmer

Deep research has gone into this book, and each chapter offers a cohesive view of one of the rogues and brigands who preyed on the citizens and travelers of the road. While I wasn’t always happy with some of the translations earlier in the book (I thought I did better on my own and that the author altered the meanings of the words at times), it was easier to disregard the translations and just enjoy the rest of the book. This is a great look at a small slice of history. Four stars.

NetGalley, reviewed by D.R. Gerstein

I admit that I have never heard of some of the criminals, which made the reading really enjoyable though some crimes were appalling. The most valuable part for me were all the references to the law and social background of the period together with detailed explanation why at a certain point there were no more highwaymen. A very good read!

NetGalley, reviewed by BEATA B.Reviewer

Overall this was well thought out and researched.

NetGalley, reviewed by Sara Garry

About Stephen Basdeo

Stephen Basdeo researches eighteenth- and nineteenth-century medievalism. His other research interests include the history of crime. He is currently a lecturer at the Leeds Campus of Richmond American International University, and his personal website can be found at https://gesteofrobinhood.com/

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