...a book fraught with the romance and colour of human lives which, if not always of the most exalted, are certainly among the most vivid.
February 2, 2007 6:11 PM   Subscribe

The Newgate Calendar. "THE deeds of ancient robber outlaws and of highway-men -- what a treasure-house pierced with windows for the imagination!" Read about the lives of notorious criminals of days past, such as Sawyney Beane, murderer and cannibal; Daniel Dawson, race-horse poisoner; John Tayler and Thomas Martin, body snatchers; or the infamous Mary Frith, also known as Moll Cutpurse, a cross-dressing, pistol-wearing, tobacco-smoking rogue and the real life inspiration for Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders.
posted by papakwanz (9 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Whoops, John Taylor, not Tayler.
posted by papakwanz at 6:12 PM on February 2, 2007

Ah, the Newgate Calendar. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey can be fun, too.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:41 PM on February 2, 2007

All you that in the condemned hole do lie,
Prepare you for tomorrow you shall die;
Watch all and pray: the hour is drawing near
That you before the Almighty must appear;
Examine well yourselves in time repent,
That you may not to eternal flames be sent.
And when St. Sepulchre's Bell in the morning tolls
The Lord above have mercy on your soul.
posted by eriko at 7:02 PM on February 2, 2007

Mary Frith is my favorite--"A famous Master-Thief and an Ugly, who dressed like a Man." That is going right on my mother's tombstone, if I have a thing to say about it. Also, CHAWBACON!
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 7:38 PM on February 2, 2007

Brings to mind the film 'Plunkett & Macleane.'
posted by ericb at 7:50 PM on February 2, 2007

Jonathan Wild is a fantastic tale, the Wikipedia version is good too (featured).
posted by stbalbach at 9:39 PM on February 2, 2007

'Scenes from the Hogarthian Underworld' takes stories from the Newgate Calendar and other places, it's like an overview of 17th/18th century crime. Very interesting.
posted by cardamine at 3:24 AM on February 3, 2007

I could swear that I first read about Jonathan Wild in a historical romance book, but which??
posted by of strange foe at 10:29 AM on February 3, 2007

Further inspiring wicked-ness: A Book of Scoundrels, featuring its own version of the Moll Cutpurse legend.
posted by goetter at 2:35 AM on February 4, 2007

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