Defoe on Sheppard and Wild

Front Cover
Harper Perennial, 2002 - Criminal justice personnel - 122 pages
0 Reviews
Part of the outstanding biographical series - edited by Richard Holmes - that recovers the great classical tradition of English biography. Every book is a biographical masterpiece, still thrilling to read and vividly alive. In this pioneering series, Richard Holmes, the world's leading Romantic biographer, sets out to recover the great forgotten tradition of English biographical writing. 'I have had no time for dusty tomes,' writes Holmes, 'I have looked for brevity, intelligence and style. Above all, I have sought out great biographical writers: biographers with passion, biographers who have found a way to the heart and soul of a memorable subject.' Jack Sheppard was an 18th-century Houdini - a handsome young escape artist who broke out of his cell on Newgate's grim Death Row three times. Jonathan Wild was the infamous Thief-Taker General who helped to recapture him and many other criminals, only to be tried and executed himself for racketeering, among scenes of mayhem at Tyburn. Daniel Defoe, the master of adventure fiction, was fascinated by 'True Confessions' and the workings of the criminal personality (including its daring, its stoicism and its humour). He was the first to retell these stories, based on personal interviews in Newgate, which also include a thrilling (sometimes hour by hour) reconstruction of events.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2002)

Richard Holmes is the author of The Age of Wonder, which won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books and the National Book Critics Circle Award and was one of the ten New York Times' Best Books of the Year in 2009. His balloon book, Falling Upwards, was chosen as a Best Book of the Year by seven newspapers in 2013. His other biographies include Shelley: The Pursuit (winner of the 1974 Somerset Maugham Prize), Coleridge: Early Visions (winner of the 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year Award), Coleridge: Darker Reflections (shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the Duff Cooper Prize), and Dr. Johnson & Mr. Savage (winner of the 1993 James Tait Black Prize). This Long Pursuit completes the autobiographical trilogy begun in Footsteps (1985) and Sidetracks (2000). Holmes was awarded the OBE in 1992, and was elected an Honorary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, in 2010. He is the 2018 winner of the BIO Award presented by the Biographers International Organization for sustained achievement in biography. He lives in London and Norwich with the novelist Rose Tremain.

Bibliographic information