string-of-pearls-lovatts-pie-shopI love to read in my spare time so let me introduce you to a Victorian craze that still continues today…

The Penny Dreadful (or Penny Blood) was a term applied to 19th century British fiction publications, usually lurid serial stories appearing in parts over a number of weeks, each part costing a penny.

The term, was soon applied to a variety of publications that featured cheap sensational fiction, such as story papers and booklet “libraries.” The Penny Dreadfuls were printed on cheap pulp paper and were aimed primarily at working class adolescents.

Halfpenny Dreadfuls came about in the mid-1890s when publisher Alfred Harmsworth decided to do something about what was widely perceived as the corrupting influence of the Penny Dreadfuls.

Harmsworth killed the Penny Dreadful by the simple process of producing the Ha’penny Dreadfuller.A.A. Milne

The Pyrate

He issued new story papers: The Half-Penny Marvel, The Union Jack and Pluck, all priced at one half-penny.

At first the stories were high-minded, moral tales, reportedly based on true experiences, but it was not long before these papers started using the same kind of material as the publications they competed against.

Read on Macduff…

(these stories require a PDF reader – Foxit Reader is free, lightweight and available for most platforms)

The Accidental Murderess by Eugenia Mooney

The String Of Pearls (aka Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street)

Varney The Vampyre (or The Feast Of Blood)

I Am – John Clare

Hear, Here…(radio plays – click to listen)

Recorded, Produced & Performed by Eugenia Mooney & Michael Furey.
Intro music from Kevin Macleod – Some Amount of Evil.
Some background music Written, Performed & Produced by Kevin Macleod.
Background music on “White Raven Grande Masque” from “Grande Masquerade” by Nox Arcana.
“The Accidental Murderess” is an original written by Eugenia Mooney, all other Authors as noted.