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The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief

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The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief Cover

ISBN13: 9780385319935
ISBN10: 0385319932
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Awards

A New York Times Notable Book

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A national bestseller that was praised on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, The Napoleon of Crime is the captivating, colorful, and frequently hilarious portrait of Adam Worth, history's most famous thief, the model for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Moriarty, and a man whose code of honor turned Victorian society on its head.

The Napoleon of Crime is the first biography of Adam Worth, the most famous criminal of the Victorian Age and the model for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's insidiously brilliant Professor Moriarty. An American-born Jew who rose through the ranks of New York's Jewish underworld, Adam Worth amassed millions and built a criminal network that reached from New York to London, Paris, and South Africa.

Suave, sophisitcated, and incomparably successful, Worth was a man who change identities as readily as Houdini slipped out of his chains. He was a self-made gentleman of distinction who mingled freely with the upper classes whose money he effortlessly stole. His cadre of cohorts included gargantuan "Junka" Phillips as bodyguard and butler, "Piano" Charley Bullard, "one of the boldest operators that has ever handled a jimmy," and Charles "the Scratch" Becker, master forger. Mastermind and safecracker, Worth never resorted to violence. His scrupulously planned bank heists won him the lasting admiration of his lifelong adversary, William Pinkerton, but his heart belonged to an "unusually beautiful" Irish barmaid, Kitty Flyn.

The pinnacle of his perfidious career was the theft of Gainsborough's celebrated portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire — herself a distant relation of Princess Di — which he held on to, and somtimes slept with, for twenty years.Finally imprisoned after a jealous associate ratted on him, Worth ultimately lost everything that meant anything to him — his wife, his children, his lavish possessions — everything except the dazzling Duchess. Through the good offices of Pinkerton, who came to support Worth and even, his children, he surrendered (for a price) his lovely Lady, and she was promptly bought by the Napoleon of Wall Street — J.P. Morgan.

Review:

"A hilarious and highly readable account of a time when there was still a certain amount of honor among thieves." John Mortimer, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Adam Worth, the greatest thief of the 19th century, could have furnished the basis of a great novel...Ben Macintyre has given him a biography that reads like one." Los Angeles Times Book Review

Review:

"The ingenious details of [Worth's] most memorable heists are hilariously recounted in comic fashion by an author who expresses genuine affection and admiration for his flawed subject. This fascinating and amusing biography will delight true-crime buffs." Margaret Flanagan, Booklist

Review:

"Macintyre has done his research well, and his book reads like an exciting detective novel." Library Journal

Synopsis:

He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson.
He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city.
He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. . . .

--Sherlock Holmes on Professor Moriarty in "The Final Problem"

The Victorian era's most infamous thief, Adam Worth was the original Napoleon of crime. Suave, cunning Worth learned early that the best way to succeed was to steal. And steal he did.

Following a strict code of honor, Worth won the respect of Victorian society. He also aroused its fear by becoming a chilling phantom, mingling undetected with the upper classes, whose valuables he brazenly stole. His most celebrated heist: Gainsborough's grand portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire--ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales--a painting Worth adored and often slept with for twenty years.

With a brilliant gang that included "Piano" Charley, a jewel thief, train robber, and playboy, and "the Scratch" Becker, master forger, Worth secretly ran operations from New York to London, Paris, and South Africa--until betrayal and a Pinkerton man finally brought him down.

In a decadent age, Worth was an icon. His biography is a grand, dazzling tour into the gaslit underworld of the last century. . . and into the doomed genius of a criminal mastermind.

About the Author

Ben Macintyre is the author of Forgotten Fatherland: The Search for Elisabeth Nietzsche and is the Paris bureau chief for The Times (London). He lives in Paris with his family.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Gold Gato, July 29, 2013 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
Since I'm not a Sherlock Holmes aficionado, I didn't realize that Adam Worth was the inspiration for the famous Moriarty until I picked up this book. Worth was the most brazen thief of the Victorian Age, sort of like a Hitchcockian cat burglar of the 19th century. In this bio, we get to learn about the thief and his gang, plus the famous heists. I enjoyed the actual character of Adam Worth, as he kept to a stringent set of values that his enemies lacked.

This is a decent good read, perfect for a fire and a cuppa.

Book Season = Winter (London fog)
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385319935
Author:
Macintyre, Ben
Publisher:
Delta
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Specific Groups - Criminals
Subject:
Crime and criminals
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Thieves
Subject:
Bank robberies
Subject:
Crame and cramanals
Subject:
Bank robberies -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
Subject:
Criminals & Outlaws
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Publication Date:
19980731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.03x5.31x.89 in. .75 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Crime » General

The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Delta - English 9780385319935 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A hilarious and highly readable account of a time when there was still a certain amount of honor among thieves."
"Review" by , "Adam Worth, the greatest thief of the 19th century, could have furnished the basis of a great novel...Ben Macintyre has given him a biography that reads like one."
"Review" by , "The ingenious details of [Worth's] most memorable heists are hilariously recounted in comic fashion by an author who expresses genuine affection and admiration for his flawed subject. This fascinating and amusing biography will delight true-crime buffs."
"Review" by , "Macintyre has done his research well, and his book reads like an exciting detective novel."
"Synopsis" by , He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson.
He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city.
He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. . . .

--Sherlock Holmes on Professor Moriarty in "The Final Problem"

The Victorian era's most infamous thief, Adam Worth was the original Napoleon of crime. Suave, cunning Worth learned early that the best way to succeed was to steal. And steal he did.

Following a strict code of honor, Worth won the respect of Victorian society. He also aroused its fear by becoming a chilling phantom, mingling undetected with the upper classes, whose valuables he brazenly stole. His most celebrated heist: Gainsborough's grand portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire--ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales--a painting Worth adored and often slept with for twenty years.

With a brilliant gang that included "Piano" Charley, a jewel thief, train robber, and playboy, and "the Scratch" Becker, master forger, Worth secretly ran operations from New York to London, Paris, and South Africa--until betrayal and a Pinkerton man finally brought him down.

In a decadent age, Worth was an icon. His biography is a grand, dazzling tour into the gaslit underworld of the last century. . . and into the doomed genius of a criminal mastermind.
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