Age of Rogues is a collection of case studies and, as in any such collection, the cases selected are intended as so many tools to detect recurrent patterns; to uncover larger historical developments through comparison, even if that comparison is implicit rather than explicit. The larger questions that suggest themselves in the context of this volume, therefore, obviously are: is there an overarching category that can usefully be called ‘rogues’? And, is there something that can be meaningfully designated an era in which they were especially prevalent or played an especially important role – an ‘age of rogues’?...
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