The Fatal Tree

£8.99

London, the 1720s. Welcome to ‘Romeville’, the underworld of that great city. The financial crash caused by the South Sea Bubble sees the rise of Jonathan Wild, self-styled ‘Thief-taker General’ who purports to keep the peace while brutally controlling organised crime. Only two people truly defy him: Jack Sheppard, apprentice turned house-breaker, and his lover, the notorious whore and pickpocket Edgworth Bess. From the condemned cell at Newgate, Bess gives her account of how she and Jack formed the most famous criminal partnership of their age: a tale of lost innocence and harsh survival, passion and danger, bold exploits and spectacular gaol-breaks – and of the price they paid for rousing the mob of Romeville against its corrupt master.

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SKU: 9781473637764 Category: Tags: ,

Description

‘A work of dazzling imagination and linguistic inventiveness’ Observer

Newgate Gaol, 1726. An anonymous writer sets down the words of Edgworth Bess as she confides the adventures and misfortunes that led her all too soon to the judgement of London:

Cruelly deceived, Bess is cast out onto the streets of the wicked city – and by nightfall her ruin is already certain. What matters now is her survival of it.

In that dangerous underworld known in thieves’ cant as Romeville, she will learn new tricks and trades. And all begins with her fateful meeting, that very first night, with the corrupt thief-taker general Jonathan Wild.

But it is the infamous gaol-breaker, Jack Sheppard, who will lay Romeville at her feet . . .

Drawing on the true story that mesmerised eighteenth-century society, the acclaimed author of The Long Firm delivers a tour de force: a riveting, artful tale of crime and rough justice, love and betrayal. Rich in the street slang of the era, it vividly conjures up a murky world of illicit dens and molly-houses; a world where life was lived on the edge, in the shadow of that fatal tree – the gallows.

Additional information

Weight 0.22 kg
Dimensions 19.6 × 12.8 × 2.8 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Paperback

Pages

336

Language

English

Edition

1st paperback ed

Dewey

823.92 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K