The following poem, simply titled ‘Robin Hood’ appeared in “The Oriental Observer” in 1828.
If Twitter was around in 1819, this angry letter writer named Robin Hood–who railed against corrupt and tyrannical MPs–would probably have had an account.
“I only strive to arouse the grovelling spirit of the industrious millions to a sense of the wrongs under which they labour.”
“The distance is never great between contempt of the laws and open resistance to them.” – Justice Fitzgerald.
Last week Google celebrated the life of Victor Hugo (1802-85) with some quirky illustrations on its masthead, so I thought I would do the same by writing a post on an early novel by Hugo entitled “The Last Day of a Condemned Man” (1829), which explores the mindset of a man who is about to be hanged.
In the 18th century, people asssumed that if you shunned work and acted like an idle apprentice, you would become a criminal.
After G W M Reynolds and Thomas Miller decided to stop writing Victorian crime novel “The Mysteries of London”, E. L. Blanchard took up the narrative with a brand new story with original characters.
In the late-Victorian period The Edinburgh Review wrote that ‘There is now before us such a veritable mountain of pernicious trash, mostly in paper covers, and “Price One Penny”; so-called novelettes, tales, stories of adventure, mystery and crime; pictures of school life hideously unlike reality; exploits of robbers, cut-throats, prostitutes, and rogues, that, but for its actual presence, it would seem incredible’.
Last Dying Speeches, Trials, and Executions: The Changing Format and Function of Crime Broadsides, c.1800 – c.1840
A paper delivered at Pernicious Trash? Victorian Popular Fiction, c.1830-c.1880, Leeds Trinity University 12 September 2016.
In Thomas Miller’s novel ‘Royston Gower’ (1838), Robin Hood is portrayed as a medieval Chartist activist.