Did people *need* the myth of a good outlaw?
This is a copy of the paper that I presented at the International Association for Robin Hood Studies ‘Outlaws in Context’ Conference, 30 June – 1 July 2015.
By the 1830s, the figure of the highwayman had almost vanished from Britain’s roads, but in a series of novels during the 1830s they were romanticised, and some authors adapted their stories to critique early Victorian society.
In the penny dreadful version of The New Newgate Calendar, scenes of the most sensational and sexual type were included for publication – torture scenes, nudity, and flagellation – and sparked a moral panic amongst middle-class press commentators.
Who is the most likely candidate for being the original Robin Hood?
The last historian to address this was James Clarke Holt, and the evidence for the most likely candidate which he identified is laid down here.
In 1751 the novelist and Magistrate of Westminster, Henry Fielding (1707-1754) published An Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers. ‘The great Increase of Robberies within these few years,’ […]
Whilst most people generally conceive of organised crime as being a distinctly modern, 20th-century, phenomenon, it has a longer history than first assumed. This post uses the theoretical framework of modern-day criminology to analyse the organised crime network established by Jonathan Wild in London in the early 18th century.
During the 18th century crime was the talk of the town in England. In 1751, the crime rate had reached such hellish proportions that the Magistrate of Westminster, Henry Fielding (the author […]