The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief

The Napoleon of Crime The Life and Times of Adam Worth Master Thief Arthur Conan Doyle fictionalized him as the superhuman Professor Moriarty and the popular press luridly chronicled his daring heists though the police never managed to convict him of anything major

  • Title: The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief
  • Author: Ben Macintyre
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 182
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Arthur Conan Doyle fictionalized him as the superhuman Professor Moriarty, and the popular press luridly chronicled his daring heists, though the police never managed to convict him of anything major until he was nearly 50 Forgotten since his 19th century heyday, master thief Adam Worth 1844 1902 gets a contemporary dusting off in this cheerfully cynical biography by aArthur Conan Doyle fictionalized him as the superhuman Professor Moriarty, and the popular press luridly chronicled his daring heists, though the police never managed to convict him of anything major until he was nearly 50 Forgotten since his 19th century heyday, master thief Adam Worth 1844 1902 gets a contemporary dusting off in this cheerfully cynical biography by a British journalist, who sees Worth s story as a case study in Victorian hypocrisy The colorful New York and London underworlds are as meticulously described as Worth s surprisingly attractive personality.

    • The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief By Ben Macintyre
      182 Ben Macintyre
    • thumbnail Title: The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief By Ben Macintyre
      Posted by:Ben Macintyre
      Published :2019-06-27T15:12:18+00:00

    2 thoughts on “The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief

    1. Ben Macintyre is a columnist and Associate Editor on The Times He has worked as the newspaper s correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington He is the author of nine previous books including Agent Zigzag, shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and the Galaxy British Book Award for Biography of the Year 2008, and the no 1 bestsellers A Spy Among Friends, Operation Mincemeat and Double Cross.

    2. When I read a review of this in 1998 I immediately put it on my wish list. As a Sherlock Holmes fan how could I not want to read about the man that was possibly the model for Morriarty? (Quick link for Worth for those who are impatient.) And so the book sat in my wish list, but didn't get purchased, because I was forever thinking it'd pop up in ebook form. Finally I gave up and just bought a paper copy, because sometimes you just have to hunt down books that have been on your list too long.(Asi [...]

    3. “[He had] plenty of time for morals; it was laws he disdained.”Award-winning well-researched and written biography of a criminal no one heard of even in his own day. His most infamous crime was the theft of a Gainsborough portrait, then the highest priced art in the world. Along the way, he burglarized, robbed, or forged on five continents and became the model for one of literature’s most famous criminal: Arthur Conan Doyle’s Professor Moriarty. “Crime need not involve thuggery.”A no [...]

    4. Having been killed in at the Second Battle of Bull Run in the American Civil War, one would have thought that Adam Worth's life was over. But, no it was not for he faked his death and then became a professional 'bounty jumper', earning himself plenty of money into the bargain.Thus began his life of crime and another soldier in the Union Army was later to comment on this part of Worth's career. He was none other than William Pinkerton, later of the famous detective agency and someone who not only [...]

    5. THE NAPOLEON OF CRIME: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief. (1997). Ben Macintyre. ***. Born in Boston to German immigrant parents, Adam Worth took to crime early in his life. As I read on, I realized that he had never held a salary-paying job in his life. He started out as a pickpocket, or dip, training under the master dip in the city. He showed a real talent for this, and soon moved up to have apprentice pickpockets working for him. From there, he decided that he needed to move up [...]

    6. Very good at times, The Napoleon of Crime is an appreciable attempt at the biography of Adam Worth, the man who served as the true-life base for Conan Doyle's Moriarty. The problems with this book are its slow pacing and its constant tangents into the lives of various other criminals, the Pinkertons, aristocrats, and so on. Many times it feels as though the book is a term paper and the author is trying to stretch it to meet a length requirement (which is almost laughable as each page is packed w [...]

    7. What a disappointment! It sounded like a terrific book, and I'd recently read another book by McIntyre that was quite engaging. Briefly, Adam Worth was the man whom Arthur Conan Doyle modeled his fictional Professor Moriarty on. Unfortunately, this book takes an extremely plodding approach to the subject -- it's a bit of a dull-witted bobby, if you will. There's lots of material here on the Pinkertons, a famous stolen painting, lots of double dealing, and a roller-coaster of a life, but it's jus [...]

    8. Since I'm not a Sherlock Holmes aficionado, I didn't realize that Adam Worth was the inspiration for the famous Moriarty until I picked up this book. Worth was the most brazen thief of the Victorian Age, sort of like a Hitchcockian cat burglar of the 19th century. In this bio, we get to learn about the thief and his gang, plus the famous heists. I enjoyed the actual character of Adam Worth, as he kept to a stringent set of values that his enemies lacked.This is a decent good read, perfect for a [...]

    9. The story was interesting but I wanted more details on crimes and travels and such. But the writing style and repetitiveness wore me down. Way too wordy, too many stretchy assertions comparing people and his love affair of a photo. I have loved every Ben M book I've read but this one seemed like a different author. Good thing I didn't read it first. There are some interesting rid bits of history but only for the strong willed readers.

    10. Another good one by Macintyre, but for a change, not about spies in WWII, but instead a masterful criminal who led the Scotland Yard, the Pinkerton Agency, the French and Belgian police on a merry chase for most of his life. He died, was resurrected as a Henry Raymond, another famous individual who had died, and remained in this identity for the rest of his life. He led a sophisticated gang of criminal forgers, bank robbers, thieves and safe crackers. While he built his empire, he rose from his [...]

    11. A friend passed this on to me, and at first I did not warm to it. But for some reason I decided to keep going, and found it really fascinating as I kept reading. Not that big a Sherlock Holmes fan, so the fact that this was the likely model for arch-villain Moriarty was less compelling than the true life story. The true life story is wild, much crazier than any fiction, as is so often the case. Also really fascinating social history, worth reading on that account alone.This quote from the Pinker [...]

    12. This was an interesting book. It tells the story of Adam Worth who was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's inspiration for the character of Professor Moriarty. He was born in America and became a criminal at a early age. He built a gang of cohorts who robbed, forged, and cheated millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims. His claim to fame was the brazen theft of the famous painting of the Duchess of Devonshire by Gainsborough from a London gallery in 1876. He stole it and kept it hidden for over sevent [...]

    13. If you're skillful enough to earn the respect of the Pinkerton Detective agency and become the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes' nemesis Moriarty you've led quite a life. There are some interesting snippets in the book for sure but the middle plods on forever (2 stars for easily 100 pages) with some of the losers associated with Worth in his criminal dealings. The best parts are the relationship between Worth and William Pinkerton, the theft of the Duchess painting, and Worth's odd relationship w [...]

    14. Though a bit meandering at times, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although it is a true story, it took on elements and twists and turns like A work of fiction. It seemed to me that many of the elements of this book - including interpersonal relations and motivations - served as archetypes in many film and books over the years. Most intriguing were Adam Worth's relationships with his henchmen, the many loves of his lives, and even the Pinkerton police. As a master criminal, worth was involved in [...]

    15. Though Ben Macintyre seems occasionally a bit too in love with his own turns of phrase -- and a bit too willing to sneer at others' -- he still crafts one heck of a fun yarn. His account of the sordid, thrilling life and times of Adam Worth, perhaps the last and the greatest of the genuine gentleman thieves, has all the twists and turns and memorable characters of any great novel. It's funny, intriguing, and, in its portrait of Worth's declining years, and his strange and wonderful friendship wi [...]

    16. Started out in such an interestingly written fashion that I was glued to about the first 50 pages or so, then it kind of crashed and burned (for me). The style became more "bureaucratic", for want of a better term and bogged down in details that I did not care about. However, I've read other similar books (similar in genre/era/characterization) which managed to include those kinds of details and still made the reading interesting. I just think "The Napoleon of Crime" could have told the real sto [...]

    17. Excellent true tale of a criminal genius, a model for Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Moriarty (as well as T.S. Eliot's Macavity), his network of accomplices, his nefarious rivals, and the Pinkerton brothers who eventually exposed him.

    18. Usually I get bored with biographies but this book is quite entertaining and contains facts about the life of Adam Worth who were not known. Also, the story is very good and always leaves you in suspense.

    19. One of the most engaging pieces of non-fiction I've read. I blew through this one in a night and have shared it with many people, none of whom, to this date, have been disappointed. Riveting stuff for fans of Conan Doyle, Pinkerton detectives, fingerprints and thievery.

    20. A fascinating story, poorly told at a lurching pace. I'd like to read a different researcher's take on all this, one less prone to wild conjecture and casual sexism.

    21. As much as I wanted to like this book, it took some odd turns and placed an inordinate amount of focus on the Gainsborough portrait "The Duchess of Devonshire". I was much more captivated by Worth's life of crime in general, and it is very interesting to learn of his connection with William Pinkerton, the felon's friend through the latter part of his life. It is interesting to read of Worth's contemporary criminals in Victorian England and the United States - living during the heyday of industri [...]

    22. Extremely well researched and filled with facts & background on the story of an infamous criminal. Interesting but may have run a little longer than necessary. The connections to the Pinkerton Agency and a Gainsborough portrait were intriguing but some assumptions in thinking & motivation seemed to be a stretch.

    23. The story of Adam Worth was compelling but it wasn't an easy read. The language varied from being archaic to using words I had to look up. The book also went into detailed tangents that were unnecessary. It was obvious that the author did a substantial amount of research in writing the book, but such a compelling main character should jump off the page - which he didn't.

    24. The whole book reads so amazing. Adam Worth's real life reads like fiction but it's actually true, and the inspiration for Conan Doyle Prof.Moriarity.

    25. As someone who devoured Sherlock Holmes as a kid, it was interesting. Non-fiction that read like a novel!

    26. Prefaced with “You’re probably not going to believe this, but” a storyteller can brace a kernel of truth with extraordinary—possibly non-actual—events. A subtle wink and nod give enough cause for the readers to excuse the exaggerations; who can resist the invitation to be on the inside, “in the know”? A gentle manipulation of ego and modern history is blurred by yet another tacit acceptance of a polite fiction. Entertainment becomes fact. When a purportedly non-fiction historical b [...]

    27. I really like Ben Macintyre's style of writing, and this book was no exception. I had no idea that Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Moriarty character is largely based on Adam Worth, the globetrotting master thief that this book is about. He faked his own death in the Civil War, assumed a fake name, stole from countless banks and jewelers around the world, swiped a famous work of art, and ran an illegal gambling parlor in Paris, yet he was nonetheless extremely likeable. The book reads a little bi [...]

    28. I am reviewing the book The Napoleon Of Crime by Ben Macintyre which is an excellent book which I bought from kindle. This book is about a criminal mastermind called Adam Worth who inspired the character of Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes novels and he was only ever caught once for a relatively minor offence and did 3 years in the notorious Sing Sing Prison in New York. It's estimated he stole goods to the value of between $2-3 million including one of the most valuable paintings of its day the [...]

    29. A biography of Adam Worth, AKA Henry J. Raymond, 19th century master thief. I am reading this book and King of Heists at the same time and enjoying this one somewhat more. Both authors obviously did a lot of research into their subjects and both gave a lot of background information about the times and people surrounding the main character but I find Macintyre's supporting cast more interesting. William Pinkerton of the Pinkerton Detective Agency is a far more charismatic character than Boss Twee [...]

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