T.P. Prest Ela the Outcast; or, The Gipsy of Rosemary Dell
(E. Lloyd, 1841)
12613.dd.1    9x10 cm


Ela the outcast
  Penny dreadfuls

Ela is an example of a highly successful penny dreadful. The eighteenth edition (the earliest in the British Library) boasted a weekly sale of 30,000 copies. Publication extended to 104 numbers over two years, the melodramatic plot prolonged by devices such as interpolated stories and the late introduction of new subplots. Scenes from contemporary melodramas influenced the relatively good quality woodcut illustrations, some signed by J. Pickering, which provide what is almost a comic strip summary of the plot.