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    The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, the Real Moriarty (Paperback) By (author) Ben Macintyre

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    DescriptionThe rumbustious true story of the Victorian master thief who was the model for Conan Doyle's Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes' arch-rival. From the bestselling author of 'Operation Mincemeat' and 'Agent Zigzag'. Adam Worth was the greatest master criminal of Victorian times. Abjuring violence and setting himself up as a perfectly respectable gentleman, he became the ringleader for the largest criminal network in the world and the model for Conan Doyle's evil genius, Moriarty. At the height of his powers, he stole Gainsborough's famous portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, then the world's most valuable painting, from its London showroom. The duchess became his constant companion, the symbol and substance of his achievements. At the end of his career, he returned the painting, having gained nothing material from its theft. Worth's Sherlock Holmes was William Pinkerton, founder of America's first and greatest detective agency. Their parallel lives form the basis for this extraordinary book, which opens a window on the seedy Victorian underworld, wittily exposing society's hypocrisy and double standards in a storytelling tour de force.

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Napoleon of Crime

    The Napoleon of Crime
    The Life and Times of Adam Worth, the Real Moriarty
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Ben Macintyre
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 350
    Width: 128 mm
    Height: 196 mm
    Thickness: 24 mm
    Weight: 240 g
    ISBN 13: 9780006550624
    ISBN 10: 0006550622

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 21600
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1KBB
    BIC subject category V2: BGH
    BIC language qualifier (language as subject) V2: 2AB
    BIC E4L: CRI
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T18.1
    BIC time period qualifier V2: 3JH
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DBK
    LC subject heading: , ,
    DC21: 364.162092
    LC subject heading:
    Libri: B-176
    BIC subject category V2: BTC, 1KBB, 2AB, 3JH, 1DBK
    Thema V1.0: DNBH, DNXC
    Thema geographical qualifier V1.0: 1KBB
    Thema time period qualifier V1.0: 3MN
    Thema geographical qualifier V1.0: 1DDU
    Thema language qualifier V1.0: 2ACB
    Illustrations note
    black & white illustrations
    HarperCollins Publishers
    Imprint name
    Publication date
    15 June 1998
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    Ben MacIntyre is the author of Forgotten Fatherland, A Foreign Field, Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat and Josiah the Great. He is the Associate Editor and a columnist for The Times and was the paper's parlimentary sketch-writer, as well as its correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He lives in London.
    Review quote
    'A good deal more thrilling than most thrillers' Ruth Rendell, Daily Telegraph 'A most remarkable and entertaining biography. It is a highly charged thriller, a moving love affair, a dramatic history of the Victorian criminal underworld, a noble tragedy' Alexander Waugh, Independent on Sunday 'A well-researched and lively account!Macintyre has an appetite for fact, assiduity and wit' Asa Briggs, The Times 'This is a delicious mingling of through research, lyrical storytelling and empathetic crime reporting!a stylish, original, and picturesque story that reads better than the vast bulk of crime books currently in print' Michael Coren, Literary Review
    Review text
    The very model of a major Victorian criminal - indeed, the original of Sherlock Holmes's nemesis, Professor Moriarty - is the subject of a true crime tale by Macintyre, Paris bureau chief for the Times of London (Forgotten Fatherland, 1992). Adam Worth, an American of German-Jewish stock, emigrated to England fresh from Civil War "bounty jumping" (by which enterprise he collected multiple Union army enlistment bonuses by deserting and re-upping under assumed names). Like many another alluring scalawag, he transformed himself, under the alias "Raymond," into a man of considerable means and social standing. The diminutive Worth was a gentleman, complete with upper-crust accent and muttonchop whiskers. He was an extravagant, clever crook as well. The fearless brains of organized crime, he eschewed violence and firearms. With the enlistment of safecrackers, forgers, bank robbers, feckless felons, and bumbling brigands who, in a later day, might have been labeled "Runyonesque," Worth's lawbreaking dominion covered all of Europe and both sides of the Atlantic. Branching out, he even ran a prototypical gangsters' nightclub in Paris. The cast of the picaresque story includes an avaricious coquette, a blundering Scotland Yard sleuth, and a private detective as determined and untiring as Javert. The detective, as corpulent as Holmes was thin, was William Pinkerton, a.k.a. "the Eye." Worth's most important score was Gainsborough's fabulous portrait of the fetching duchess of Devonshire. Entranced by the painting or, perhaps, by its subject, Worth kept the swag with him for two decades. It was Pinkerton, upon Worth's fall, who negotiated the picture's return - for a reward paid to Worth. The detective and the master criminal ended as friends. A delightful Victorian tale of colorful miscreants and dissembling rogues, told in engaging style. (Kirkus Reviews)