In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, widespread fear of criminal assault motivated the publication of hundreds of pamphlets tracing the lives and misdeeds of London's most notorious rogues. Turned to Account is a groundbreaking study that focuses on the popular genre of criminal biography, examining how it played upon and reflected English society's fears and interest in aberrant behaviour. The author has not produced a criminal history, but an intriguing distillation of some 2,000 separate narratives describing the lives, deeds, and dying words of thieves, murderers, and various scoundrels. Lincoln Faller examines ways in which ordinary Englishmen read, wrote, and presumably thought on the subject of criminal actions and character. He completes his treatment by showing how the pamphlets served to delineate the lines of socially acceptable behaviour. Faller has chosen his examples with skill and economy to produce a comprehensive and interesting work.
Very good condition, complete with dust jacket, not ex-library so no stickers or stamps. No underlining or annotations.