Criminal biographies enjoyed enormous popularity in the Eighteenth Century: today they offer us some fascinating perspectives on the period. Drunks, Whores and Idle Apprentices is the first book to reproduce a number of these biographies in full.
Not only do these biographies make fascinating reading, they also raise the problem of how to read them as historical documents. The author argues that instead of trying to uncover simple themes, the most revealing thing about them is the tensions around which they were constructed.
Table of Contents
I The History of…John Sheppard (1724), II The Life and Actions of James Dalton (1730), III The Ordinary of Newgate’s Account: Mary Young (1741), IV The Discoveries of John Poulter (1753–4), V The Life, Travels, Exploits, Frauds and Robberies of Charles Speckman (1763)
Philip Rawlings (Author)