London's Underworld by Fergus Linnane
Three Centuries of Vice and Crime

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Synopsis

London's Underworld is the superbly evocative survey of 300 years of organised crime in the capital. Full of vivid detail and characters, it is an examination of the underside of the world's richest city as it evolved from the extreme violence of the early eighteenth century to the vastly more complex and lucrative, but no less violent, gangland of today. Fergus Linnane takes us on the nightmarish last journeys of condemned criminals to execution. We follow the ingenious criminals who carried out the first great train robbery in 1854 and the gang that robbed the Bank of England. We enter death-trap eighteenth century prisons, described as a 'prototype of hell'. We walk the crowded streets of Victorian London with its swarms of prostitutes, its magsmen and garrotters. We enter low drinking dens where prostitutes and their murderous accomplices practise their arts. We see the rise and fall of the interwar racecourse gangs and the battle for control of the West End, which bequeathed us much of the structure of present-day gangland. This story has the power to disturb and even disgust, but it is endlessly fascinating.
 

About Fergus Linnane

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Since retiring as executive editor of "The" "European," Fergus Linnane has written numerous books, including "London's Underworld "and "The Lives of the English Rakes,
 
Published January 1, 2003 by Robson Book Ltd. 372 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel.

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Linnane begins with the most famous of these: Jonathan Wild, “the original Godfather,” a double-dealer who was as pleased to be bought off by the thieves as turn them in.

May 01 2005 | Read Full Review of London's Underworld: Three Ce...

The Guardian

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London's Underworld by Fergus Linnane Robson Books £16.95,pp372 In the late eighteenth century, while riding home through Hyde Park, Horace Walpole was attacked by highwaymen.

Apr 13 2003 | Read Full Review of London's Underworld: Three Ce...

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