The Thieves' Opera
by Lucy Moore
Georgian London was a city of extraordinary contrast: its elegance and refinement thrived amid appalling filth and foul smells, decadence and depravity. Crime was everywhere, from pickpockets and prostitutes to murderous highwaymen, as London bulged with riches from its overseas colonies. The Thieves' Opera is the story of the city, and of its two greatest criminals, Jonat...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 27th 2000 by Mariner Books
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While this effort has demonstrated its popularity in making the thieves of London's early 18th century accessible, anyone who has spent time studying this particular part of history will realize "The Thieves Opera" is a largely derivative work, owing its existence to a host of previous works from which it borrows -- sometimes verbatim -- quite liberally. Furthermore, the organization of the book is choppy, unable to choose between a chronological narrative of the lives of Jack Sheppard and Johna...more
A fascinating look into the Georgian underworld. Immensely readable,Jonathan Wild and Jack Sheppard's exploits are shown in all their nefarious ingenuity. I wondered why I hadn't heard of these folk heroes before reading this. A great book to read and to re-read.
The Thieves' Opera is a very well-written, interesting account of the villains and robbers that populated sections of London during the 17th century. It reads more like a story than a history book and yet it is still very informative.
Lucy Moore did a very thorough job discussing the rise of the thief takers. She provides an excellent description of life in London and the basic social problems of society at that time. However, the text did become seemingly repetitive and dull. Had she not gone into such unnecessary detail, I would have given her a fourth star.
Lucy Moore was born in 1970 and educated in Britain and the United States before reading history at Edinburgh University. She is the editor of Con Men and Cutpurses: Scenes from the Hogarthian Underworld, and author of the critically acclaimed The Thieves Opera: The Remarkable Lives and Deaths of Jonathan Wild, Thief-Taker, and Jack Sheppard, House-Breaker (Viking 1996) as well as Amphibious Thing...moreMore about Lucy Moore...