Jack Sheppard, A Romance

By: Ainsworth, William Harrison

Price: $225.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Fine


Originally published as a serial in Bentley's Miscellany from 1839 to 1840, It is a historical romance and a Newgate novel based on the real-life of the 18th-century criminal Jack Sheppard.


Jack Sheppard developed into one of the most popular and controversial of Ainsworth's 'Newgate' novels, complemented by some of Cruikshank's superlative illustrative work. The novel became so popular that by the end of 1839 nine different theatrical versions of it had appeared on the London stage.


Ainsworth's description of illicit life also provoked criticism. The work was attacked it in The Examiner for glorifying criminals and adding criminal slang to the common vocabulary. Thackeray wrote a novel, Catherine condemning the work and it was suggested that a murder was committed in 1840 inspired by a reading of Ainsworth's novel [ODNB] Lauded for its lively writing, especially its depiction of a storm on the Thames and the account of Jack Sheppard's escape from Newgate prison. The story generated a form of cultural mania, embellished by pamphlets, prints, cartoons, plays, and souvenirs. [Worth,19] Public alarm at the possibility that young people would emulate Sheppard's behavior led the Lord Chamberlain to ban, at least in London, the licensing of any plays with 'Jack Sheppard' in the title for forty years. The fear may not have been entirely unfounded; Courvousier, the valet of Lord William Russell, claimed in one of his several confessions that the book had inspired him to murder his master. [Moore, 299]


Red half-morocco with marbled paper-covered boards, top edges gilt; Bound at Brentanos with 27 steel-etched plates by George Cruikshank. Bindings are tight and square. Text clean, light even toning. Minimal shelf handling wear. A handsome collectible copy. 8vo 22.5 x 15 cm; 8.875 inches tall, 343 pages.



REF: Sadleir 14; Sutherland, 323-324; VictorianWeb; Moore; ODNB; wiki

Title: Jack Sheppard, A Romance

Author Name: Ainsworth, William Harrison

Categories: 19th CENTURY: Literature and Works, Decorative Binding, Illustrations / Illustrators, FINE PRESS,

Publisher: London, George Routledge and Sons: 1856

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Type: Book

Seller ID: 011759

Keywords: Newgate Novel; British Literature; Crime,