The real-life Jonathan Wild, gangland godfather and self-styled 'Thief-taker General', controlled much of the London underworld until he was executed for his crimes in 1725. Even during his lifetime his achievements attracted attention; after his death balladeers sang of his exploits, and satirists made connections between his success and the triumph of corruption in high places. Henry Fielding built on these narratives to produce one of the greatest sustained satires in the English language. Published in 1743, at a time when the modern novel had yet to establish itself as a fixed literary form, Jonathan Wild is at the same time a brilliant black comedy, an incisive political satire, and a profoundly serious exploration of human 'greatness' and 'goodness'. Book jacket.
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A dialogue between the ordinary of Newgate and
Wild proceeds to the highest consummation of human
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acquainted answered appeared apprehended assure Bagshot began Beggar's Opera behaviour Blueskin booty bring brought called captain CHAPTER character Charles Hitchen Colley Cibber committed confess count countenance criminal DANIEL DEFOE Defoe desired dexterity doth endeavour execution eyes felony Fielding's Fireblood fortune gallows gang gentleman give guineas hands hanged hath Heartfree Heartfree's Henry Fielding hero honour human husband imagine immediately jewels Jonathan Wild Joseph Andrews justice kind knew lady Langfanger laudanum Lcetitia least liberty lived lost madam manner matter means mind misfortune Miss Letty murder nature never Newgate obliged occasion Old Bailey passion perhaps person pocket present prig prison promise reader received reward robbed robbery rogue seemed shew Snap soon stolen suffer sure tell thief thieves thieving world things told trade true truth Tyburn utmost villain virtue whole wife Wild's Wolverhampton woman word wretch young