A Book of Remarkable Criminals

Aug 22, 2012 by

I found a fascinating little book called A BOOK OF REMARKABLE CRIMINALS  by H.B. Irving originally published in 1918.  A Book of Remarkable Criminals tells the stories of Charles Peace (ironic last name eh?), Robert Butler, M. Derues, Dr. Castaing, Professor Webster, the mysterious Mr. Holmes and various other unsavory characters.

Charles Peace is one of the outstanding popular figures in 19th century crime.  A professional criminal who had all the makings of a successful man in any walk of life, but he is said to have turned to crime by his passion for a woman.  Robert Butler has been called a criminal of conviction based on  his desire to acquire things by a shortcut without taking the time or trouble to work or get things honestly.  M. Derues was known for his very high social ambition and he is said to have homed and utilized his greatest talent…something today known as the “bluff.”  Professor Webster falls into the realm of ordinary gentlemen, harmless citizens who  are converted into assassins and murderers.  Professor Webster was a selfish, self-indulgent and spendthrift gentleman who landed himself in serious financial predicament.  Professor Webster was a weenie and chose murder to escape from a relentless creditor.  Professor Webster completely forgets about the happiness of his home and the love of those dear to him all for the desire to free himself from a perceived personal disgrace….something insignificant really in comparison with what is entailed by committing the highest of all crimes!  These are just a few of the fascinating stories found in A Book of Remarkable Criminals by H.B. Irving.




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