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Old 02-07-2008, 07:17 PM   #1
Madam Broshkina
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Ainsworth, William Harrison: Jack Sheppard. v1, 6 Feb 2008

Jack Sheppard is the story of two apprentices, Thames Darrell and the historical criminal Jack Sheppard, the basic plot and moral closely following the model of Hogarth's series of twelve engravings, Industry and Idleness (1747), with just a dash of Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728), both of which had been in part inspired by the short career of the original Jack Sheppard. The novel is divided into three books, or epochs, each resembling the acts of a play. Epoch the First, 1703, takes place in one night when the main protagonists are new-born babies, and acts as a prologue. Epoch the Second, 1715, takes place over a few days in June and shows the adolescent Jack's fall from grace and into the clutches of the evil thief-taker and criminal mastermind, Jonathan Wild, while Thames rather foolishly falls into the clutches of his evil uncle, Sir Rowland Trenchard, who is Wild's silent partner. Epoch the Third, 1724, encompasses the six months leading up to Jack's capture and execution.
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