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Thomas Blood (1618-80) was a celebrity in his own lifetime, even though this celebrity was based on infamy. A turncoat, spy and double agent, Blood is most notorious for being the only person to successfully steal the crown jewels. This book is the first on this fascinating subject for over fifty years. It not only explores the rich seam of villainy inherent in Blood's rumbustious career, but also depicts in vivid detail the effects of the civil war and the means by which the crown maintained power in the difficult early years of Charles II's reign by fully exploiting a prototypical intelligence network. From all of this Blood emerges as a complex, perhaps even a tortured figure. Was he simply a daredevil, or something altogether more driven, compelled to confront authority at every turn and live by his own standards, a permanent rebel and outsider?