Author(s): James Sharpe
Almost everything people know about Dick Turpin and highwaymen is myth. The historical truth is much nastier, more brutal and bloody.
This is a masterly biography of one Britain's best-known criminals - who was this notorious highwayman and why did he become so famous? It is also an examination of the cult of the highwayman, of crime in the 18th century and the treatment of criminals. In the absence of any police force how were crimes solved? Who did the detective work? And did the criminals get a fair trial - an important question if you were going to hang from the neck for a relatively minor misdemeanour. Was there a criminal underclass and did people really live in terror of going on the roads at night. Looking at the underbelly of society and the nastier aspects of life that many historians ignore, James Sharpe creates a vivid picture of life on the edges in eighteenth century Britain.