[Cruikshank] Ainsworth, William Harrison, Jack Sheppard, Extracted from Bentley’s Miscellany 1839. Re-paginated by hand: [2 blanks; frontispiece, title page “extracted from Bentley’s Miscellany; B1 of Bentley’s Miscellany corresponds to p. 1. (P. 29 on card stock. Blank on the verso.) P. 113 in Miscellany is I1 or p. 30 hand-numbered. 183 hand-numbered pages plus the verso of p. 183 for a total of 184 pages; 2 concluding blanks]. Page 88 (hand-numbered) is p. 463 from Miscellany and is cut and pasted down on card stock. Original wrappers not bound in. 27 etchings and 2 woodcuts by George Cruikshank. A variant of Cohn 13. This edition was apparently unknown to Cohn. Quarter red morocco on watered red silk, stamp-signed by Henry Young and Sons, Liverpool.
A novel describing criminal life, Jack Sheppard has much in common with Oliver Twist by Dickens. To explore and dramatize crime and the criminal life in romantic and historical terms in a genre known as the “Newgate novel,” Ainsworth portrayed the real Jack Sheppard, a character corrupted by crime, unlike Oliver Twist. In real life, Jack Sheppard was a well-known criminal in eighteenth century London.
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