Ainsworth, William Harrison
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A rich and complex Gothic-Romance centring on the murky deeds of an ancient family. It is a wonderfully atmospheric piece that combines narrative, poetry, song, and descriptive writing to great effect. The character of Dick Turpin that we know today - the dashing highwaymen and unmatched horseman - can be said to stem directly from this novel, as the most famous part of the book (often published on its own in the past), Turpin's Ride To York, is devoted to him. Although seemingly little known to a modern audience, Ainsworth's 'Rookwood' gave the world the image of the highwayman with which we are all so familiar.