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Why is the highwayman largely perceived as a romantic, glamorous, and gallant figure? How is it that men who were really nothing more than bandits, who were often gratuitously violent, sometimes murderers and rapists as well, have become the swashbuckling heroes of history? To put their roles in context, the book probes into the economic, social, and technological factors that at certain times made highway robbery highly lucrative and which help to explain why some of its exponents eventually disappeared from the scene. Finally, the legacy of the highwaymen on pub signs, in films, and in fiction is discussed. Informative, stimulating, and entertaining, from the pen of a true enthusiast, this book will appeal to anyone interested in the dramatic, murky underworld of history.

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