Underworld London: Crime and Punishment in the Capital City
Catharine Arnold

Underworld London: Crime and Punishment in the Capital City

Beginning with an atmospheric account of Tyburn, we are set up for a grisly excursion through London as a city of ne'er do wells, taking in beheadings and brutality at the Tower, Elizabethan street crime, cutpurses and con-men, through to the Gordon Riots and Highway robbery of the 18th century and the rise of prisons, the police and the Victorian era of incarceration. As well as the crimes, Arnold also looks at the grotesque punishments meted out to those who transgressed the law throughout London's history - from the hangings, drawings and quarterings at Tyburn over 500 years to being boiled in oil at Smithfield. This popular historian also investigates the influence of London's criminal classes on the literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, and ends up with our old favourites, the Krays and Soho gangs of the 50s and 60s. London's crimes have changed over the centuries, both in method and execution. Underworld London traces these developments, from the highway robberies of the eighteenth century, made possible by the constant traffic of wealthy merchants in and out of the city, to the beatings, slashings and poisonings of the Victorian era.

Book Details:

  • Author: Catharine Arnold
  • Published Year: 2012
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Simon & Schuster

Catharine Arnold

Catharine Arnold is the author of the much-acclaimed London quartet, a series of books about the dark side of the capital, consisting of Necropolis, London and its Dead, Bedlam, London and its Mad, City of Sin, London and its Vices and Underworld, London City of Crime and Punishment. (All Simon & Schuster). City of Sin has been published in the United States as The Sexual History of London (St Martin’s Press.) Catharine Arnold’s latest book, Globe, Life in Shakespeare’s London was published by Simon and Schuster in April 2015. Catharine’s first novel, Lost Time, ...
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Book Reviews

  • "The goriest horror film seems tame beside this history of law-breaking and legal retribution in London. Catharine Arnold maintains her usual high standard here, never flinching from grisly facts."
    Press Association
  • "Catharine Arnold is a popular historian whose work on the hinterland of London, namely, its mad, its dead and its sexually voracious, has garnered her a reputation for being entertaining. She has a light touch when dealing with dark topics. Her latest book exploits her self confessed appetite for sensational crime and gruesome punishment."
    Sunday Telegraph