William Harrison Ainsworth

Rookwood, by William Harrison Ainsworth - click to see full size image

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Rookwood is a gothic historical novel by English writer William Harrison Ainsworth, first published in 1834. Set in the eighteenth century, the story tells of the death of Piers Rookwood, owner of Rookwood Place, and subsequent claims and disputes over the inheritance of the manor and of the Rookwood family name. Two people seem to be contenders - Ranulph, the son of Piers, and Luke Bradley, who was previously led to believe he was an illegitimate heir. The novel also features an appearance by Dick Turpin, the notorious highwayman and thief, in a plot point that features his infamous 200 mile overnight ride from London to York on his horse, Black Bess. A complex and rich story of family struggles and lies, and characters who will stop at nothing to ruin those around them. The book is also classified as a Newgate Novel - a peculiar genre that appeared in the 1800's and that glamourised the lives of criminals.

This book has 156,271 words, 320 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1834.

Production notes: This ebook of Rookwood was published by Global Grey on the 12th January 2022. The artwork used for the cover is 'West Lodge, East Bergholt' by John Constable.

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