London's Underworld: Three Centuries of Vice and Crime
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London is a city that thrives on crime and the myths of crime, attested to by its violent history and depiction in literature. In London’s Underworld, Fergus Linnane examines three centuries of crime. He takes us on the nightmarish last journeys of condemned criminals to the gallows. We enter an 18th-century prison, described by novelist Henry Fielding as the “prototype of hell.” We walk the murky streets of Victorian London with its swarms of thieves and murderers, and enter the sordid drinking dens where prostitutes and their vicious accomplices practice their arts. We follow the ingenious villains who carried out the first great train robbery, and see the rise and fall of gangs. And we discover how crime in the capital has evolved from the extreme violence of the 18th century to the vastly more complex and lucrative, but no less brutal, gangland of today.
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