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Junkshop Gem: Burglar To The Nobility

Rubysparks Every generation has its minor celebrities – famous for 15 minutes, then off back to obscurity. In the 1940s, that was Ruby Sparks – and Burglar To The Nobility was his story.

Ruby Sparks was a villain, pure and simple. From the earlist days as a child thief, through to robbery with a horse and cart and later widespread notoriety – Ruby was the first man to do a "smash and grab" in Britain and the first to use a getaway car. And while we’re onto his achievements. he was also the first man to escape from Dartmoor prison (he also started the infamous riot there and escaped from Strangeways in a suit made out of an old mail bag).

Played out like an Ealing Comedy with added violence, Burglar To The Nobility is a cracking read. Gritty realism, amusing anecdotes, some pictures of the time and a "crime doesn’t pay" mesaage at the end. Not to mention a great period cover.

Cost £1 and worth every penny.

Find a copy on the Abebooks booksellers network

  • Theresa Keenan

    Hi I have been looking for an original copy of this book for a while and can’t seem to find it anywhere. John Sparks (Better known as Ruby Sparks) Is my Nana’s uncle. She is 86 years old and after a recent visit with her she told me she can’t find this book anywhere. She had a copy that she recieved a number of years ago but it is literally a photo copy of each page of the book. ha! She gave it to me but I would really like to have an orginal. Where did you find the one that you put on here? Is it for sale? She has shared many crazy stores about her uncle with us–He was a brilliant and crazy man! He was also one of the masterminds behind the great train robbery in the ’60’s.

  • Danny O’Brien

    Hi
    My name is Danny O’Brien I to have been looking for this book for years as my late father was a friend and maybe a distant cousin (or some family connection to Ruby)
    I met Ruby at my fathers funeral and could kick myself now for not taking more time with him……. We did talk briefly about him owning the Penguin Club in Regence Street but not alot more………………
    I to would like to know more about Ruby as he sounds a great man………….
    Danny

  • Britta Keenan

    We’re all looking for this book! damnit! ha ha! I found one 6 years ago online and am kicking myself for not buying it then.
    Let’s see who can find one!