A General History of the Lives, Murders and Adventures of the Most Notorious Highwaymen

Captain Charles Johnson


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British Library Publishing
16 April 2020
ISBN: 9780712352741
400 pages

From the publisher

Captain Charles Johnson's celebrated A General History of the Pirates (1724) is the most famous book about pirates ever written. Buoyed by the volume's runaway success Johnson followed up with the equally engrossing The Lives and Adventures of the Most Famous Highwaymen (1734) which, published here for the first time in two centuries, provides over 50 accounts of the most notorious British criminals of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These include the famous highwayman William Davis, alias The Golden Farmer, the cross-Channel gentleman highwayman Claude du Vall, the prolific road adventurer Old Mob and the royalist carriage raider James Hind. Johnson's volumes, featuring fictional accounts based on factual sources, are significant as the forerunners of the real-life criminal biography genre, and for their influence on such early novels as Defoe's Moll Flanders and Fielding's Jonathan Wild. Originally published in folio size complete with fine engravings, this new edition of Highwaymen not only includes the very best of these original decorative features but also presents a series of related illustrations, playbills, and portraits from the British Library collections.