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Birth of W H Ainsworth

4th February 1805

William Harrison Ainsworth was born in Manchester on 4 February 1805. Journalist, essayist, poet and, most of all, historical novelist, Ainsworth was a member of the early-Victorian publishing elite, and Charles Dickens’s only serious commercial rival until the late-1840s, his novels Rookwood and Jack Shepherd beginning a fashion for tales of Georgian highwaymen and establishing the legend of Dick Turpin firmly in the National Myth.

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