Percival Wolfe
Wild Will; or, The Pirates of the Thames
(Newsagents' Publishing Co, ca. 1865)
C.140.d.48      35x47 cm


  Penny dreadfuls

Free folding coloured plates, such as this gruesome example by Robert Prowse, were a popular sales attraction. The Newsagents' Publishing Company had a reputation for these often extremely violent, and sometimes (it is claimed) almost pornographic tales of London low life and crime into which the bloods developed. They were strongly condemned by contemporary critics as a danger to youth, indicating that the readership was now perceived as largely juvenile.