This book throws new light on white-collar crime, criminals and criminality in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Britain. It does so by considering the life of one man, Jesse Varley (1869–1929), who embezzled more than £80,000 from Wolverhampton Corporation, and for a decade and more enjoyed an ostentatiously extravagant lifestyle. He was discovered, and despite serving a period of penal servitude, he turned again to white-collar crime (this time in Sheffield). Sentenced again to penal servitude, he died a few years later in Liverpool in what were said to be 'very poor circumstances'.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Part I: Motives; 1. Predisposition; 2. Ambition; 3. Opportunity; Part II: Methods; 4. Deceit and display; Part III: Retribution; 5. Arrest and prosecution; 6. Punishment and rehabilitation; 7. Recidivism and reconviction; Part IV: Repercussions; 8. Shame, blame and reform; Conclusion
John Benson is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.