What is Rogue literature and its famous examples

Rogue literature is a very popular type of writing about thieves and other criminals, about the underworld in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Its practitioners include the Kentish landowner Thomas Harman (fl. 1547-67), whose Caveat for Common Cursitors first appeared in 1566; Robert Copland wrote High Way to the Spital house; Robert Greene, whose pamphlets describe ‘coney-catching”, that is the deception of innocents; and Thomas Dekker.

Rogue literature is generally vividly descriptive and often allegedly confessional, providing an important source for our knowledge of everyday common life and its language, as well as for the language of thieves and beggars. It can be related to stories about Robin Hood, jest book literature, and early attempts at writing fiction and autobiography. A large collection of such tracts was edited by A. V. Judges in 1930 and a smaller selection by G. Salgado in 1972.

Also read: What is Dime Novel and its examples