His real name was James Aitken, though he was better known as "John the Painter." During the early months of the American Revolution, he wreaked havoc in England by performing acts of terror on behalf of America. In this first full-length chronicle of the man who attempted to burn down royal navy yards across England, Jessica Warner paints a tart and entertaining portrait of the world's first modern terrorist. At the height of the scare, King George III received daily briefings from his ministers, the Bow Street Runners were on the chase, newspapers printed sensational stories, and in Parliament a bill was rushed through to suspend habeas corpus. [via]
This is rollicking popular history with something for every reader: authentic 18th-century atmosphere, timely social history, international political intrigue, terrorism, chase scenes, spies, a double agent or two, a jailhouse snitch, the king, a young woman innocently tending her sheep . . . and much more.