Tales of Woe
The Complete Newgate Calendar : An 18th/19th century English compendium of true-crime stories. The New Gate of the City of London was built during the reign of Henry I, and was used as a prison from at least 1188. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times, but always acted as a prison. It was finally destroyed in 1902, part of the site becoming occupied by the Central Criminal Court. The Newgate Calendar was originally published in five volumes in 1760 and narrated notorious crimes from 1700 till then. There were many later editions. Some of the stories are fascinating. Read about timeless con games, greedy counterfeiters, ghost stories, reprieved executions (this one is particularly interesting; the criminal actually hung nearly fifteen minutes before being cut down) and much, much more.