Monthly Archives: August 2016

Moll Cutpurse (HUM220)

For those interested, here is another version of Moll Cutpurse’s (Mary Frith’s) life.

from A Book of Scoundrels 


THE most illustrious woman of an illustrious age, Moll Cutpurse has never lacked the recognition due to her genius. She was scarce of age when the town devoured in greedy admiration the first record of her pranks and exploits. A year later Middleton made her the heroine of a sparkling comedy. Thereafter she became the favourite of the rufflers, the commonplace of the poets. Newgate knew her, and Fleet Street; her manly figure was as familiar in the Bear Garden as at the Devil Tavern; courted alike by the thief and his victim, for fifty years she lived a life brilliant as sunlight, many-coloured as a rainbow. And she is remembered, after the lapse of centuries, not only as the Queen-Regent of Misrule, the benevolent tyrant of cly-filers and heavers, of hacks and blades, but as the incomparable Roaring Girl, free of the playhouse, who perchance presided with Ben Jonson over the Parliament of Wits.

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