Here are the scans I’ve recently completed of the penny dreadfuls in my collection so far.
They were originally on my academia.edu page but I’m moving them here as I find that website a bit slow and “fiddly” at times. My hope is that other researchers will be able to use these resources (and maybe save themselves an archive trip!), and permission is given freely (though an acknowledgement might be nice!). This post will therefore be updated as and when I have the time to upload them. Enjoy!
In the penny dreadful version of The New Newgate Calendar, scenes of the most sensational and sexual type were included for publication – torture scenes, nudity, and flagellation – and sparked a moral panic amongst middle-class press commentators.
Who is the most likely candidate for being the original Robin Hood?
The last historian to address this was James Clarke Holt, and the evidence for the most likely candidate which he identified is laid down here.
The novel emerged as the dominant literary genre in the eighteenth century. One of the first majorly successful novels was Pamela (1740). Most novels during the eighteenth century are classified into two […]
Penny bloods were cheap pieces of serialised fiction which offered a chance for young working-class readers to indulge in ‘carnivalesque’ entertainment; they allowed their readers to indulge in mocking authority. Their subject […]
This post has been adapted from a chapter in my MA Thesis which was completed under the supervision of Dr. Heather Shore. The tale of Sweeney Todd, the ‘demon barber,’ (originally entitled […]
The early eighteenth century was one of the best ages for satire. Writers such as Joseph Addison (1672-1719) and Richard Steele (1672-1729) wrote their Spectator and Tatler magazines to expose the follies […]
The Mysteries of London was a long-running penny dreadful serial which ran between 1844 and 1846 and was the biggest selling novel of the Victorian era. Read the ebook here. A version […]
The trade in broadsides recounting the ‘Last Dying Speech’ of felons before they were hanged thrived during eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These broadsides are a fascinating area of research for those interested […]
In 1751 the novelist and Magistrate of Westminster, Henry Fielding (1707-1754) published An Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers. ‘The great Increase of Robberies within these few years,’ […]