Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Q for FAQ & the letter R is for Risen from the Dead

The A-Z Challenge continues with the letter Q & R! For the letter Q I'm posting a few important facts and questions about penny dreadfuls. For the letter R, I'm featuring the penny dreadful, Risen from the Dead or The Medical Student.

Q is for Penny Dreadful FAQ's

There were few penny dreadfuls I could find for this letter. I did find The Divorced Queen (published in 1868) but beyond that, nothing more. In doing my research, I discovered some interesting facts about penny dreadfuls.

* Many penny dreadfuls did not last throughout time due to their poor quality paper know as cheap pulp paper.

* Its been stated repeatedly that the penny dreadfuls were low quality writing from hack writers.  Knowing how much the industry has changed in recent years, do you believe that statement is true?

* Plagiarism found a happy home during the penny dreadful years. Publisher Edward Lloyd, for example, created titles such as Oliver Twiss and Nickelas Nicklebery based on Dicken's classics. I wonder what Dickens thought about that?

"Risen from the Dead or The Medical Doctor"

Now this penny dreadful sounds wonderfully wicked,doesn't it. From the first glance, it reads like a zombie story straight out of the Victorian era.  I regret to inform you that I was unable to find anything about this serial.  Drat!  Boy did I want to read it!  Still, I enjoyed the illustration since it left much to my imagination which is why I chose to feature it. I also researched information about Boys Weekly Reader, but alas my search gave me squat.  During this era there were far too many publications using the name "Boy" which probably caused much brand confusion. Back then, there were publications such as Boys Library, The Wild Boys of London, Boys Own Paper and the list goes on... I suspect they did that on purpose to gain more readers. Think about it...competing publications could look like other best-selling penny dreadfuls, feature a similar story and header line and countless readers would probably purchase a leaflet for a penny, right? It didn't cost the reader more that a penny, right?  Right! Yeah, that's certainly a strategy.   As far as this one here, the story might not be memorable because it was a bad as the paper it was printed on. Who knows? It still looks interesting though.

That's my Q & and R.  How's everyone's week so far?

Mina Burrows


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't think they were hack writers. More like genre writers in a time of literacy works.

Nick Wilford said...

Oh dear, how tantalising to not have anything more than the title. I'm sure it's worth a read, even if it's just in a really hammy way!