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A penny dreadful
Title : A penny dreadful A penny dreadful View More Images
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Creator : Borlase, James S. (James Skipp)
Source : Blue cap the bushranger : or, The Australian Dick Turpin
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : Hogarth House
Date of creation : [1879?]
Format : Book
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

'Penny dreadfuls' was the name given to a range of mass produced, sensational fiction published in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Though not strictly written for children, by the lurid nature of their contents they had a wide appeal. Many of the titles were serialised over many weeks before the story was completed. The subjects ranged from adaptations of gothic novels and the works of Charles Dickens, to stories of pirates, highwaymen, lost heirs and ghouls. The stories were always long on adventure and action, short on description and character building.

It was in direct opposition to this type of publication that Boy's Own Paper and Boys of England were published from the late 1860s, to provide more wholesome reading for boys

In Blue Cap the Bushranger Ted Hogan is the hero and obtains his rightful reward at the end. The villain Blue Cap, an escaped convict, meets his untimely end and his body is mummified in the Australian sun, a ghoulish touch for the predominantly English readers. Blue Cap belongs to the Hogarth House Library, which includes the popular and more homely Jack Harkaway stories, and as such was more wholesome than the more lurid fare of rival publishers.

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