Penny Dreadful Illustrations: Edward the Black Prince (1854)

Pierce Egan the Younger (1814-1880)
Pierce Egan the Younger (1814-1880)

Pierce Egan the Younger (1814-1880) was like the George R. R. Martin of his day. He loved the medieval period, The son of the famous Regency writer, Pierce Egan, he authored a number of so-called penny dreadfuls, including:

  • Robin Hood and Little John; or, the Merrie Men of Sherwood Forest (1838-40).
  • Wat Tyler (1841).
  • Adam Bell, Clym o’ the Cleugh, and William of Cloudeslie (1842).
  • Paul Jones, the Privateer (1842).
  • The London Apprentice, and the Goldsmith’s Daughter of East Chepe (1854-56).
  • Edward the Black Prince; or, Feudal Days (1854-56).
  • Clifton Grey; or, Love and War, aTale of the Crimean War (1854-5).
  • Quintin Matsys (not dated but c.1850).

1His obsession with medieval outlaws and rebels such as Wat Tyler, Robin Hood, and Adam Bell seems surprising in view of the fact that his life was the model of Victorian respectability. Maybe he focused on rebels because he needed an outlet from the restraints that middle-class Victorian respectability placed upon male conduct in the mid-nineteenth century – who know?!?

His works are usually of epic length – Robin Hood and Little John numbers over 400,000 words! (and here I am panicking about getting an 80,000 word thesis together). The interesting thing about Egan, however, is that he drew all of his own illustrations for each novel, which was not the usual case with penny dreadful publishers.

Below are scans of all the pictures from my own edition of Egan’s Edward the Black Prince.


3
Visit of Queen Phillipa to Joan, Countess of Spain

4
An intercepted capture

6
The Combat

7
Journey to London

8
The swooning of Joan

9
Arrival at the Tabard Inn

11
The stirrup cup

10
Geoffrey Chaucer

12
The Tournament

13
Joan of Kent

14
Harold of the Weald

Interview between Joan and the Black Prince
Interview between Joan and the Black Prince

The tabard
The tabard

Rescue from a Dreadful Death
Rescue from a Dreadful Death

John Hawkwood
John Hawkwood

Encounter of the French and English Knights
Encounter of the French and English Knights

The Black Prince Knighted
The Black Prince Knighted

The Countess of Kent
The Countess of Kent

Sir Thomas Holland
Sir Thomas Holland

Boarding the Galleon
Boarding the Galleon

Final Decision
Final Decision

Harold and Dora
Harold and Dora

The Rivals
The Rivals

Edward the Black Prince
Edward the Black Prince

The Black Prince rescuing the Countess of Kent
The Black Prince rescuing the Countess of Kent

The Explanation
The Explanation

The Discovery
The Discovery

Death of Thomas Holland
Death of Thomas Holland

Entry into London
Entry into London

Reunion
Reunion

Harold
Harold

Pairing Off
Pairing Off

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