Thursday, April 23, 2015

A-Z: T is for Trials

It's the A-Z Challenge challenge again and today I'm posting for the letter T.  My choice of penny dreadfuls in an interesting one.  As I mentioned, the penny dreadfuls were often written about real-life crimes and were often embellished to drive the public into a reading frenzy.  One source of these works comes from a publication called The New Newgate Calendar which published stories based on the hottest crimes and trials.  It's subtitle was Remarkable Lives of Trials of Notorious Criminals.  Past and Present.  Below is a few images of the original versions I found.


"The New Newgate Calendar - Trials"

The Newgate Calendar, the original publication started in the late 1700's as an account of notorious characters, and their infamous stories which let to their inevitable incarceration at Newgate prison.   From the Hathi Trust Digital Library, here is the The New Newgate Calendar synopsis:  "The new Newgate calendar : being interesting memoirs of notorious characters, who have been convicted of outrages on the laws of England, during the eighteenth century, brought down to the present time ... With occasional essays on crimes and punishments, original anecdotes and observations on particular cases; the speeches, confessions, and last exclamations of sufferers, to which is added a correct account of the various modes of punishment of criminals in different parts of the world / By Andrew Knapp and William Baldwin, attorneys at law."

Where can I get a copy of The New Newgate Calendar ?

Thankfully there were a a couple of versions of The New Newgate Calendar available online. I found this one, Beau Langley, Scholar and Libertine here and The Murder of Maria Marten in the Red Barn at Polstead here.

It's fascinating how the illustrations sensationalize these crimes, isn't it?  

Mina Burrows


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I guess people enjoyed reading about real life crimes.

Mark Murata said...

And people think covers nowadays are salacious. What would that look like in the hands of a contemporary urban fantasy artist?

Chris Kelworth said...

Court cases often make exciting stories! Thanks for sharing.

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! said...

Hi human, Mina,

There seems to be a morbid fascination with real life crimes.

Sometimes I think my human Gary is committing crimes by not giving luxury food all the time. Arf!

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny :)

Sophie Duncan said...

We've been fascinated with real-life crime for a very long time :) I wonder if the embellishments in these penny dreadfuls are worse than those we get in the tabloids today?
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
Wittegen Press

S. L. Hennessy said...

There are copies available online?! I must get one!

cleemckenzie said...

That has to be one gory calendar. Just the one with the guy wielding the axe gives me the shudders.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Interesting! Flash forward a hundred and 50+ years and they were doing the same thing in America about the heroes & outlaws of the American wild west.
Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead
I am Ensign B of Tremps' Troops
with the A to Z Challenge

Nick Wilford said...

It's like they were making the crimes into popular entertainment, but then they had some funny ideas about entertainment back then as a good hanging was considered a great family day out.

Entrepreneurial Goddess said...

Hello there.
Thanks for sharing. Just making my way around the challenge.

Entrepreneurial Goddess