The Thieves' Opera

B+
September 11, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

English criminal mastermind Jonathan Wild invented the ”double-cross” and the modern crime empire, blackmailing members of his ”Corporation of Thieves” and its victims with equally ruthless abandon. In 1724 Wild announced he would catch cat burglar Jack Sheppard, folk hero to London’s exploited underclasses for using Houdini-like maneuvers to repeatedly escape from notorious city prisons. Their fates prove so karmically appropriate they’d be unbelievable in a novel — but they constitute a rip-roaring historical chronicle. Colorful digressions abound: Whether rendering the eccentric nobility (place settings at formal dinners included chamber pots) or nose-slashing street gangs, Moore makes The Thieves’ Opera an irresistible guide to Enlightenment Europe’s most luxurious, sordid, and violent city. B+

The Thieves' Opera

type
Book
author
Lucy Moore
Complete Coverage
The Thieves' Opera

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