The ‘Penny Dreadful’ novels

Author: Mike Clough

Date Posted: Thursday 18th February 2016

Inspired by the Penny Dreadful novels of the Victorian era, JKSL have produced a limited edition run of our very own gripping fictional novels!

The ‘Penny Dreadful’ was a publishing phenomenon in the 19th Century as these cheap, sensational, highly illustrated stories became incredibly popular with the Victorian public. Penny dreadfuls (sometimes called “bloods” or “shilling shockers”) were astonishingly successful, creating a vast new readership. The “bloods” were inexpensive novels usually filled with violent adventure and issued in installments. Between 1830 and 1850 there were up to 100 publishers of penny-fiction.

At first the they copied popular cheap fiction’s love of late 18th-century gothic tales, the more sensational the better, creating worlds of murderous deeds, the study of poisonous, tales of monsters and evil and nefarious roués. The stories themselves were reprints, or sometimes rewrites, of Gothic thrillers and the illustrations were an essential element, as much an advertising tool as art.

JKSL will be issuing a Penny Dreadful for each Invasive Non Native Species into a library of essential reading.

Please note the tales are scary and are not meant to be read by children, the faint hearted, home owners or anybody living close to a railway line or river….

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Mike Clough

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