1.22.2023 – prodigious number

prodigious number
people hanged by no means bad
time for criminals

Inspired by:

In spite of the prodigious number of people who managed to get hanged, the fifteenth century was by no means a bad time for criminals.

A great confusion of parties and great dust of fighting favoured the escape of private housebreakers and quiet fellows who stole ducks in Paris Moat.

Prisons were leaky; and as we shall see, a man with a few crowns in his pocket and perhaps some acquaintance among the officials, could easily slip out and become once more a free marauder.

As it appears in the 1926 title, The Book of The Rogue by Joseph Lewis French.

According to the Wikipedia, Joseph Lewis French. (1858–1936) was a novelist, editor, poet and newspaper man. The New York Times noted in 1925 that he may be “the most industrious anthologist of his time.”[2] He is known for his popular themed collections, and published more than twenty-five books between 1918 and his death in 1936. He initiated two magazines, The New West (c. 1887) and The Wave (c. 1890). Afterward he worked for newspapers “across the country” contributing poetry and articles. He struggled financially, and during 1927 the New York Graphic, a daily tabloid, published an autobiographical article they convinced him to write, entitled “I’m Starving – Yet I’m in Who’s Who as the Author of 27 Famous Books.”

The New York Times reports in his obit that Mr. French “insisted that the actual rewards of authorship were few.”

I have reproduced his obit here.

In his book of collected stories on pirates, Great Pirate Stories, Mr. French wrote:

It was a bold hardy world—this of ours—up to the advent of our giant-servant, Steam,—every foot of which was won by fierce conquest of one sort or another.

Out of this past the pirate emerges as a romantic, even at times heroic, figure.

This final niche, despite his crimes, cannot altogether be denied him.

A hero he is and will remain so long as tales of the sea are told.

So, have at him, in these pages!

A hero he is and will remain so long as tales of the sea are told

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