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Rookwood is a novel by William Harrison Ainsworth published in It is a historical and gothic romance that describes a dispute over the legitimate claim for the inheritance of Rookwood Place and the Rookwood family name. Ainsworth began to develop the idea of writing a novel in
He was the son of a solicitor, and was designed for the legal profession, but while quite young embraced the profession of literature and acquired great notoriety as a writer of sensational novels founded mainly upon historical or semi-historical themes. Excepting a couple of hours which she allowed to rest, at the urgent entreaty of her companion, she had passed the whole night in prayer. Angela kept watch over the lovely sleeper, and the effect produced by the contemplation of her features during this her last slumber was never afterwards effaced.
You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. University A to Z Departments. This lecture will focus on the life and subsequent legend of Dick Turpin, the famous English highwayman who was executed at York in April
It featured a dashing, charismatic Dick Turpin, the real-life highwayman, and a sentimental death scene for Black Bess, his horse, that famously set readers weeping. First published inthis copy is a fourth edition from with new illustrations by George Cruikshank. Rookwood was one of the novels that Ainsworth instructed the young Charles Dickens to study.
The Great British Public may not yet be fully aware of it, but there are a lot of anniversaries to celebrate in there is the bicentenary of the battle of Trafalgar in October, the quatercentenary of gunpowder plot in November, while Einstein's theories first hit the world just a century ago. But there are two other anniversaries this year that will attract a lot less attention. The first is the tercentenary of the birth of Dick Turpin, who entered the historical record when his baptism was noted in the parish register of Hempstead in Essex on September 21son of a butcher named John Turpin and his wife, Mary.
Ainsworth initially studied law but left it for literaturepublishing his first novel anonymously in His first success came with the novel Rookwoodfeaturing the highwayman Dick Turpinwhich led many reviewers to hail him as the successor to Sir Walter Scott. Thereafter Ainsworth switched to historical novels based on places rather than criminals, including The Tower of LondonOld St.
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Today, Ainsworth, whose narrative style reminds one of Sir Walter Scott 's, is chiefly remembered for popularizing the story of the highwayman Dick Turpin in Rookwood and the legend of Herne the Hunter in Windsor Castle During his early years of popularity in London Ainsworth played the gracious host at his home, Kendall Lodge, which lay just outside the metropolis, to such literary celebrities as John ForsterEdward Bulwer-Lyttonand Charles Dickens. He was born in Manchester on February 4th,and spent the first nineteen years of his life in that northern industrial city.
Dick Turpin was a dashing highwayman, an 18 th -century Robin Hood who stole from the rich to give to the poor. His life was one of pluck and derring-do, conducted atop his loyal mare, Black Bess. He was also a snappy dresser, never seen without a tricorn hat, frock coat, and riding boots. He once rode miles in a day, from London to York, to give himself a concrete alibi for a robbery, visiting many pubs along the way.