In the archvies of the Bodleian Library, Oxford there is a hitherto neglected Robin Hood novel by Robert Southey entitled ‘Harold, or the Castle of Morford’ (1791). This post is a short introduction to this text.
The Robin Hood novelist Thomas Miller was chosen by George Vickers to continue writing “The Mysteries of London” in 1849.
Society Gets the Criminals it Deserves: The Resurrection Man from G. W. M. Reynolds’ “The Mysteries of London” (1844-45)
What makes a person commit crime? How does a person become a hardened criminal? These are questions which we ask today and which the Victorians also asked of their society? This post examines G W M Reynolds’ answer to these questions.
Contrary to scholarly opinion, the first Robin Hood novel was not written in 1819 but in 1791.
In the late-Victorian period The Edinburgh Review wrote that ‘There is now before us such a veritable mountain of pernicious trash, mostly in paper covers, and “Price One Penny”; so-called novelettes, tales, stories of adventure, mystery and crime; pictures of school life hideously unlike reality; exploits of robbers, cut-throats, prostitutes, and rogues, that, but for its actual presence, it would seem incredible’.
In Thomas Miller’s novel ‘Royston Gower’ (1838), Robin Hood is portrayed as a medieval Chartist activist.
The Man who served the Booby but loved the Fanny.
In Henry Fielding’s novel, there was no difference between the great men in high life and those in low life.
I feel bad writing about something like this, like I’m betraying my eighteenth-century roots.
The 19th-century criminal was an altogether different species of villain compared to the romantic highwayman a century previously.