Sunday 30 June 2013

June Competition - double opportunity!

Competitions are open to UK residents only

Because Charles Palliser's new novel, Rustication, has been postponed till November, we are offering instead two signed copies of The Quincunx to the first commenters to answer this question correctly:

"He out-Dickenses Dickens" says former History Girl Essie Fox. What is the connection between John Huffam, the protagonist of The Quincunx, and Charles Dickens?

(The Quincunx is a long book, so two copies are roughly the equivalent of ten novels!)

And as a bonus, Linda Buckley-Archer is generously donating two sets of her Timequake trilogy, about Gideon (the Cutpurse). Her question is:

"In the context of eighteenth-century criminality, what was the difference between a highwayman and a cutpurse?"

You have till 7th July to enter. Winners will be announced on 8th July. Good luck!


Marjorie said...

Dickens' full name was Charles John Huffam Dickens, wasn't it? I don't know whether there are further connections. (I have not read 'The Quincunx' (or at least, not yet!))

I think that a Highwayman held up coaches,and other travellers, robbing people on the highway, whereas a cutpurse was a pickpocket.

Ruan Peat said...

great question and great books too,
a cut purse was more of a pickpocket, they moved in crowds and lifted purses, A highway man rode a horse to get away quick, worked more in isolation and often had a pistol to threaten, so was often face to face, while a cut purse was faceless in the crowd! The main difference then is scale, big prizes big challenges for highwaymen, with small challenges and small returns for the cut purse.

Lynne H said...

Yes, the character John Huffam's name constitutes the middle names of Charles John Huffam Dickens.
A cutpurse was a pickpocket working by trying to blend in and get away unnoticed, whereas a highwayman made his presence very obvious, hijacking travellers on the road, frightening and threatening them, demanding money and small, easily transported expensive items such as jewellery and getting away with the appropriated items very quickly.

Linda said...

Ah, the real difference between cutpurses and highwaymen in the eighteenth century was the glamour, wasn't it? Highwaymen were bold, free spirits, who were expected to laugh as they made their way to the gibbet, and about whom songs and penny dreadfuls would be written. They were even called 'gentlemen of the road'. And they have a long legacy: the first artificially lit road (Rotten Row) was as a result of the number of highwaymen thieves there! A cutpurse, however, despite needing 'an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand' worked in secret, in crowds and on foot - no dashing black charger for him!

And as well as the story's nineteenth century setting and depiction of all manner of social classes, the names of the character John Huffam are indeed the same as the two middle names of Charles Dickens.

Linda said...

Thank you so much for my prize, which arrived yesterday. I can't wait to start reading: the books look so inviting!