From the condemned cell at Newgate, Bess gives her account of how she & Jack formed the most famous criminal partnership of their age: a tale of lost innocence & harsh survival, passion & danger, bold exploits & spectacular gaol-breaks – and of the price they paid for rousing the mob of Romeville against its corrupt master.
Bess dictates her narrative to Billy Archer, a Grub Street hack and aspiring poet who has rubbed shoulders with Defoe and Swift. But he also inhabits that other underworld of ‘molly-houses’ and ‘unnameable sin’, and has his own story of subterfuge, treachery and doomed romance to deliver.
As the gallows casts its grim shadow, who will live to escape the Fatal Tree? By the acclaimed author of THE LONG FIRM, this is a tour de force; inventive, atmospheric and rich in the street slang of the era. Drawing on real figures and a true history of crime, punishment and rough justice, it tells a heartbreaking story of love and betrayal.
Book available in store & online. Printed Matter will also be having a stall at Polari on the night.