‘Essex Boys’ is history with a difference. Author, Karen Bowman assembles a range of characters with one thing in common – they all lived in Essex. There are fine sketches of each together with background details of their colourful lives and times. Daniel Defoe, writer of more than 500 books, pamphlets and journals resided in Colchester. Dick Turpin we discover was not quite the folk hero tradition has made him into, but a leader of ‘The Essex Gang’ a bunch of hardened criminals. Wat Tyler, also from Colchester, was a leader of the peasant’s revolt of 1381 which rapidly spread across the country. Amongst the great and not so good also featured are Henry V111, Charles Dickens and even Jack the Ripper, proving that you just cannot pigeon hole the Essex Boy!