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Acknowledgements ix Chronology xi Preface xvii INTRODUCTION 1 I. Contemporary reception: the pre and early Victorian critical heritage 1 II. The Victorian reaction 19 III. Late Victorian views 30 IV. Modem judgements 35 V. An age in transition 39 CHAPTER ONE Blood and Thunder: A Gothic Apprenticeship 47 I. Essentialjuvenilia, 1821-1823 47 II. The best of the rest: December Tales, 1823 73 III. The first novel: Sir John Chiverton, 1826 95 CHAPTER TWO Fame and Infamy: Rookwood, A Romance, 1834 121 I. Life in London: business, family and Fraser's, 1826-1834 121 II. The design of Romance: Rookwood, Scott and the gothic 131 III. The Phantom Steed: the outlaw narrative of Rookwood 151 CHAPTER THREE Writing the Underworld: Jack Sheppard, A Romance, 1839 171 I. 'A sort ofHogarthian novel' 171 II. Vagabondiana: Jack Sheppard and social exploration 195 III. The storm: the Newgate controversy 219 CHAPTER FOUR The Historical Novelist: Prophecy, Passivity and Tragedy 231 I. Twin-born romances: Guy Fawkes and 231 The Tower of London, 1840 II. Hell on earth: Old St. Paul's, 270 A Tale of the Plague and the Fire, 1841 III. The devil and his works: Windsor Castle, 1843 and Auriol, 1844 285 CHAPTER FIVE The Lancashire Novelist 305 I. A dream of flying: The Lancashire Witches. 305 A Romance of Pendle Forest, 1848 II. The Lancashire novels 344 CHAPTER SIX The Greatest Axe-and-Neck Romancer of Our Time 371 I. Growing old gracefully: 1850-1881 371 II. Man of La Manchester 388 CONCLUSION 405 Appendices 413 A. On the authorship of Sir John Chiverton. 413 A debate from beyond the grave B. The original conclusion of Catherine, A Story by Thackeray 421 C. 'Old Grindrod's Ghost': A Ballad 423 The Works of William Harrison Ainsworth 427 Bibliography 435 Index 447Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication: Ainsworth, William Harrison, 1805-1882, Novelists, English 19th century Biography, Lancashire (England) Biography