Category: Places | Type: Historical | Title: Great Expectations (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: Chapter XLII

Epsom in Surrey is famous since the late 18th c. for its racecourse, which, being "the sport of kings," attracted much of the cream of English society along with more raffish characters, such as Compeyson, who could pass as gentlemen and yet who sought to swindle and steal from the affluent. Lesser thieves such as pickpockets were also drawn to the annual race days.

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