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Underworld London: Crime and Punishment in the Capital City
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Underworld London: Crime and Punishment in the Capital City

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  148 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Beginning with an atmospheric account of Tyburn, we are set up for a grisly excursion through London as a city of ne'er do wells, taking in beheadings and brutality at the Tower, Elizabethan street crime, cutpurses and con-men, through to the Gordon Riots and Highway robbery of the 18thcentury and the rise of prisons, the police and the Victorian era of incarceration. As ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published March 15th 2012)
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Dec 20, 2015 Diana rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the book, it's a great overview of crime and punishment in the city of London starting in the Medieval era. My issues with the book are, the editor could have done a better job of checking spelling and if things were stated correctly, for example drawn, hung and quartered instead of hanging,drawing and quartering. It also seems like the author tried to put too much into too few pages. I know it's a general history but some of it seemed rushed. These are the reasons it did not ...more
Matti Karjalainen
Catharine Arnoldin "Underworld London : Crime and Punishment in the Capital City" (Simon & Schuster, 2012) on viihdyttävä ja nopealukuinen true crime -genren tietokirja, jossa käsitellään rikoksen ja rangaistuksen historiaa lontoolaisesta näkökulmasta.

Englannin pääkaupungissa onkin ehtinyt sattua ja tapahtua, ja tutuksi tulevat niin Viiltäjä-Jackin ja Krayn veljesten kaltaiset kyseenalaiset kuuluisuudet kuin ainakin näin suomalaisesta näkökulmasta tuntemattomammatkin hahmot. Se ei kuitenkaan
Tobi Grantham
Oct 31, 2016 Tobi Grantham rated it really liked it
A bit of an odd book. Varied in its appeal and vacillating between in depth detail clearly well researched and a salacious gossip-type feel to the writing. Ultimately a riveting read and very interesting, but it doesn't seem to know quite what it wants to be when "it grows up" as it were.
Holly Cruise
Feb 20, 2014 Holly Cruise rated it liked it
Shelves: history
It's very hard not to like a book which, towards the end, lists the celebrities to be found frequenting the club run by the Kray brothers, prioritising Barbara Windsor over less important folk like Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland.

A whistle stop tour through London's criminal scenes, crime fighters, jails and streets, taking in most of the last thousand years, Underworld London isn't a book containing great depths but a breezy, fast moving ride which never ever gets boring. Arnold wrings the neces
Les Gehman
Aug 06, 2014 Les Gehman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Underworld London: Crime and Punishment in the Capital City by Catharine Arnold is a wonderful introduction to crime and punishment in London from the early times through the modern day. This extremely well-written book brings to life the characters (both cop and criminal) who made a mark on the history of crime in London.
Feb 03, 2013 Anja rated it it was amazing
Extremely enjoyable, easy to read and provides a great overview of London's relationship with crime, jails and the death penalty from 1066 to the modern day. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the subject and looking for a vivid, sometimes gruesome, historical summary with examples of notable cases.
Lee Battersby
Oct 22, 2012 Lee Battersby rated it really liked it
Enjoyable romp through some of the less savoury episodes in London's criminal evolution. Arnold's work is, as always, highly readable and doesn't shy away from revealing even the most unpleasant aspects of her subject matter, and she delivers this geographic biography with verve and panache. A highly entertaining read.
Eva Karin
Sep 02, 2015 Eva Karin rated it really liked it
While it's no in-depth serious academic examination of crime, the justice system or what circumstances lead to crime, it's a solidly entertaining surface examination of just that. I found myself horrified, curious and entertained in turns and just overall found this to be a very enjoyable read. Would absolutely recommend.
Aug 04, 2015 Deanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, true-crime
Appeals to my love of history and my morbid love of crime and punishment. Lots of interesting cases from medieval London to post second world war. Some of the history I have heard or read of before and I would love to visit the tower of london again or Madame Tussaud's.
Dec 01, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it
Not quite as good as her previous books, but still very interesting and entertaining.

I found the chapter on Highwaymen the most interesting. Most of the other material has been covered by literally hundreds of other authors.
Dec 24, 2015 Raoul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, crime
Een mooi overzicht van misdaad in London door de eeuwen heen. Het leest lekker weg, maar gaat nergens echt de diepte in. Prima ter verstrooiing.
Mar 02, 2014 Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: london, history
A very pleasant introduction to crime and punishment in London over the centuries. A lot of names I was familiar with. A lot more that I wasn't .
Feb 04, 2015 Stoic_quin rated it liked it
Interesting enough - the early sections are well set out. Unfortunately gets a bit tabloid when we get to the sixties.
Jul 15, 2015 James rated it really liked it
This book has some great stories about the poor souls heading for the gallows. It puts you in the crowd watching the events unfold
William Carter
Nov 13, 2015 William Carter rated it really liked it
I'm from London and really enjoyed this book showing me the criminal underworld, not just the usual infamous characters but the ordinary people who participated in the history of this great city.
Hazel rated it liked it
May 30, 2013
Mallory rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2016
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Jun 19, 2016
Bruno Cantellano
Bruno Cantellano rated it it was amazing
Mar 27, 2015
Allison rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2015
Grace rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2014
Eva rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2015
Dec 19, 2013 Anjella rated it it was amazing
Fascinating study of crime throughout London's history.
Rae Tabi
Rae Tabi rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2013
Anna rated it really liked it
May 18, 2014
Kate Orrells
Kate Orrells rated it really liked it
Dec 28, 2012
Trav Metcalfe
Trav Metcalfe rated it liked it
Mar 09, 2015
Hanna Stokes
Hanna Stokes rated it really liked it
May 31, 2016
Jo rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2014
Dex rated it liked it
Feb 28, 2012
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Catharine Arnold read English at Cambridge and holds a further degree in psychology. A journalist, academic and popular historian, Catharine's previous books include the novel "Lost Time", winner of a Betty Trask award. Her London trilogy for Simon & Schuster comprises of "Necropolis: London and Its Dead", "Bedlam: London and Its Mad" and "City of Sin: London and Its Vices".
More about Catharine Arnold...

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“Hanging had been introduced by the Anglo-Saxons during the fifth century as a punishment for murder, theft and treason.” 0 likes
“Despite the fact that England was nominally a Christian country, the church had no reservations about capital punishment, with St Paul and Thomas Aquinas enlisted in its defence.” 0 likes
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