Contented Reader

just point me toward the nearest library

Penny dreadfuls

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In the nineteenth century, not everyone was reading high quality literature.  Then, as now, a lot of people were reading trashy, trashy fiction. As bad as Twilight.  Worse, even.

‘Penny dreadfuls’ were printed on cheap paper and written for sensationalism.  Many of them used the expectations of the Gothic genre, which was as popular then as it was now.  What is it about heiresses in white nightgowns and leering vampires?  The target audience was teenaged boys.

These are not, technically, good books, in the sense of being written well, or having a plot that makes complete sense.  Some of them are still pretty darned awesome, though.

There were lots of penny dreadfuls.  Here are a few that I was able to find for reading online; if you know of others, please leave links in the comments.


Written by Contented Reader

August 18, 2012 at 7:38 am

Posted in Reviews


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