Thursday, June 16, 2005

Crime Time

As fascinating as the glittering world of the 18th century aristocrat was, equally interesting is the seedy underworld. As London grew in population, so did its crime. The characters that populated the criminal world grew into larger than life celebrities. A couple of books that are great reading on the topic are both by Lucy Moore. First is Con Men and Cutpurses : Scenes from the Hogarthian Underworld. This book follows the criminal records of the time to explore the criminal underworld. Moore tries to use the cases to show the values and attitudes of the time. The other is The Thieves' Opera. This book is more biographical in nature, spending more time on the actual persons perpetrating the crimes.

Online, one of my favorite sites is The Proceedings of the Old Bailey. It has accounts of trials from 1674-1834. It's one of those sites that I easily get lost in. Really interesting stuff.


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