The 19th-century criminal was an altogether different species of villain compared to the romantic highwayman a century previously.
Exorbitancy and Necessity frequently compelled him to perpetrate Villainy; And no wonder, since he lived in the most infectious Air of the worst of most Licentious Times.
Eugene Sue’s “The Mysteries of Paris” marked the emergence of a new genre: the urban gothic.
In 1977, the horror movie The Hills Have Eyes was released, but it was based upon a 17th-century Scottish folk tale and was then immortalised in 18th-century criminal biography
By the 1830s, the figure of the highwayman had almost vanished from Britain’s roads, but in a series of novels during the 1830s they were romanticised, and some authors adapted their stories to critique early Victorian society.
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.
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,’ […]
Whilst most people generally conceive of organised crime as being a distinctly modern, 20th-century, phenomenon, it has a longer history than first assumed. This post uses the theoretical framework of modern-day criminology to analyse the organised crime network established by Jonathan Wild in London in the early 18th century.
During the 18th century crime was the talk of the town in England. In 1751, the crime rate had reached such hellish proportions that the Magistrate of Westminster, Henry Fielding (the author […]