A Database of Cheap Literature, 1837-1860

Browse Named Authors

Most penny bloods were not merely pseudonymous, but more plainly anonymous. They are identified as "By the author of". The corpus of Thomas Peckett Prest and James Malcolm Rymer has thus been reconstructed by Helen R. Smith in New Light on Sweeney Todd, Thomas Peckett Prest, James Malcolm Rymer and Elizabeth Caroline Grey.1 However, in many cases, the author (or translator or adaptor) remains unknown.

Penny authors
British - French - American authors
Authors of other or unknown nationality
Composers - Artists

Here is a list of named penny authors:

Gilbert Abbott À Beckett David Mitchell Aird Gabriel Alexander
Thomas Archer Richard Bedingfield Mary Ann Bird
Edward Litt Leman Blanchard Henry George Brooks Edwina Jane Burbury
A. C. Henry Cockton James Moutrie O'Neale Cooke
H. J. Copson Fawcett Dawson Paul Eaton
Pierce Egan (1772-1849) Pierce Egan (1814-1880) Henry Foster
Thomas Frost Francis Glasse William Thomas Haley
John Heather Henry Hewitt William Heard Hillyard
Ebenezer Edward Peron Hingston Ambrose Hudson Robert Huish
Stephen Carr Clarke Hunt William Hurton Joseph Charles James
Hannah Maria Jones Frances Isabella Staveley Berkeley Wood Kortright F. Y. B. L.
James Lindridge Annette Marie Maillard Henry Downes Miles
Thomas Miller J. H. Newton Renton Nicholson
Francis O'Sulivan Samuel Phelps George Dibdin Pitt
Gioacchino Prati Thomas Peckett Prest Charles Reade
George William MacArthur Reynolds Edwin Franklin Roberts James Robertson
John Wilson Ross James Malcolm Rymer John Taylor Sinnett
John Frederick Smith Harriette Maria Gordon Smythies Walter Somers
Alexander Somerville Percy Bolingbroke St John R. J. Stapleton
Joachim Hayward Stocqueler Felix Stowe Oliver Sullivan
Sarah Symonds J. Herbert Thornley Annie Tinsley
Ellen T— George Marcus Viner Thomas Egerton Wilks

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Other British authors found their works reprinted, plagiarised, retold, or adapted from the stage as penny bloods. The following list also contains the few dramatists who adapted penny bloods for the stage:

William Harrison Ainsworth George Almar William Anderson
Samuel Atkyns John Banim Matthew Henry Barker
Mary Bennett William Bayle Bernard W. Bertin
Adelaide Helen Biddles George Henry Borrow Dion Boucicault
Mary Brunton John Baldwin Buckstone Selina Bunbury
Alfred Bunn George Gordon Noel Byron Charles Alexander Calvert
Andrew Leonard Voullaire Campbell William Clarke John Close
Eliza Cook Joseph Stirling Coyne John Cartwright Cross
Catherine Ann Crowe Catherine Cuthbertson Selina Davenport
Mary Ann Denvil Charles Dibdin Charles Dickens
Joseph Ebsworth James W. Elphinstone Edward William Elton
John Fawcett Edward Fitzball Marguerite Gardiner
Thomas Gaspey John Gay George Robert Gleig
William Godwin Oliver Goldsmith Catherine Grace Frances Gore
Henry Plunkett Grattan John Thomas Haines Anna Maria Hall
Martha Harley John Hawkesworth Colin Henry Hazlewood
Elizabeth Helme Richard Holcraft George Payne Rainsford James
Charles Jefferys Douglas William Jerrold C. M. Johnston
John Beer Johnstone Ernest Charles Jones Isabella Kelly
Mary Kentish James Sheridan Knowles John Langhorne
Francis Lathom Sophia Priscilla Lee Harriet Lee
(Richard) Nelson Lee Mark Lemon Matthew Gregory Lewis
George Lillo George Linley George William Lovell
Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer Henry Mackenzie William Charles Macready
John Malcolm Charles W. Manby Frederick Marchant
Frederick Marryat Charles James Mathews Thomas Moore
John Mordaunt Frederick Neale William Johnstoune Nelson Neale
John Oxenford John Parry Thomas Parry
Richard Brinsley Peake James Robinson Planché Isaac Innes Pocock
Elizabeth Polack Jane Porter Anna Maria Porter
Ann Radcliffe Angus Bethune Reach William Leman Rede
Clara Reeve Susannah Frances Reynolds Thomas Herbert Reynoldson
Samuel Richardson Joseph Philip Robson Regina Maria Roche
William Rogers William Gribbon Ross Samuel William Ryley
John Faucit Saville Walter Scott William Seaman
Charles Selby Thomas James Serle Frances Sheridan
Charlotte Smith Albert Richard Smith Tobias George Smollett
George Soane Charles Alfred Somerset Robert Southey
Louisa Sidney Stanhope George Stephens Edward Stirling
Joseph Strutt William E. Suter Thomas Noon Talfourd
William Taylor Frances Trollope Horace Walpole
Catherine George Ward Samuel Warren James White
T. H. White Charles Whitehead Harriette Wilson
Mary Julia Young H. Young

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French authors' works were massively translated, mostly taken from the stage or from the newspapers' romans-feuilletons:

Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois Auguste Jean-François Arnould Louis Alexandre Bailly
Honoré de Balzac Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre Élie Berthet
Jacques Étienne Adolphe Chenu Sophie Cottin Adolphe d'Ennery
Dormont de Belloy Charles de Bernard Paul de Kock
Alexandre de Lavergne Xavier de Montépin Louis-Élisabeth de Tressan
Casimir Delavigne Hippolyte-Jules Demolière Adelbert Doisy
Victor Henri-Joseph Brahain Ducange François Guillaume Ducray-Duminil Philippe-François Pinel Dumanoir
Alexandre Dumas Paul Duport Émile Dupré de Saint-Maure
François de Fénelon Octave Feuillet Paul Féval
Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian Narcisse Fournier Emmanuel Gonzalès
Léon Gozlan Eugène Grangé Alexandre Guiraud
Louis Adrien Huart Victor Hugo Jules Janin
Marie Lafarge Alain René Le Sage Auguste Maquet
Jean-François Marmontel Paul de Musset Charles Philipon
Philippe-Auguste Pittaud de Forges René-Charles Guilbert de Pixerécourt Charles Félix Henri Rabou
Fanny Reybaud Alphonse Royer George Sand
Eugène Scribe Michel-Jean Sedaine Frédéric Soulié
Émile Souvestre Victorine Subervick Eugène Sue
François-Eugène Vidocq

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American authors' works were frequently reprinted as part of the two-way transatlantic piracy regime which lasted throughout the nineteenth century. Also included in this list are lyricists whose songs offered inspiration for "original" bloods:

Timothy Shay Arthur Maturin Murray Ballou Benjamin Barker
Emerson Bennett Robert Montgomery Bird Osgood Bradbury
Charles Brockden Brown Oliver Bell Bunce Henry P. Cheever
Harriet Vaughan Cheney Reynell Coates Sylvanus Cobb
James Fenimore Cooper Harriot Flora Curtis Richard Henry Jr Dana
Henry Champion Deming Eliza Ann Dupuy Thomas Dunn English
Theodore Sedgwick Fay Timothy Flint Nathaniel Greene
Sarah Josepha Buell Hale Dennis Hannigan Alice Bradley Haven
Gustaf Clemens Hebbe Henry William Herbert Joseph Holt Ingraham
Justin Jones Edward Zane Carroll Judson John Pendleton Kennedy
Caroline Matilda Kirkland Mary Langdon Charles Edwards Lester
George Lippard Henry Wadsworth Longfellow James A. Maitland
John Henry Mancur John Alexander McClung Maria Jane McIntosh
Edward Joy Morris John Neal P. O'Shaugnessey
James Kirke Paulding John Howard Payne Eugene Plunkett
Edgar Allan Poe Augustus Julian Requier James Sanford
Susan Anne Ridley Sedgwick Catharine Maria Sedgwick Tom Shortfellow
William Gilmore Simms Anna L. Snelling Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth
Ann Sophia Stephens Harriet Beecher Stowe M. L. Sweetser
Daniel Pierce Thompson Virginia Frances Townsend Thomas Tracy
Henry Theodore Tuckerman Calvin Henderson Wiley Sarah Payson Willis
John R. Willis Henry Augustus Wise

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A few works adapted or translated works come from authors of other nationalities:

Johann Baptist von Alxinger Erik Julius Björner Benvenuto Cellini
Manuel Galo de Cuendías Massimo d'Azeglio Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
Emilie Flygare-Carlén Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann Friedrich Kind
Giovanni La Cecilia August Friedrich Ernst Langbein Theodor Mügge
Carl Anton Postl Friedrich Wilhelm Riese Emanuel Schikaneder
Friedrich Schiller Karl Spindler Carl Franz van der Velde
Christoph Martin Wieland Johann Heinrich Daniel Zschokke

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Operas, melodramas, and songs were adapted into penny bloods. Here are some of their composers:

Julius Benedict Charles William Glover André Grétry
Nelson Kneass Edward James Loder Johann Christoph Pepusch
George Herbert Bonaparte Rodwell Henry Russell Friedrich von Flotow
Carl Maria von Weber

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A couple of penny bloods were inspired by engravings. Here are some of the artists:

George Cruikshank William Hogarth

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Finally, some adapted works orginated from named authors of which the nationality remains unknown:

Charles Zachary Barnett Thomas Bingley Thomas G. Blake
John Courtney William B. English T. H. Fenton
Joseph Graves Helen Harkness James Mackay
Edward Montague Barnabas F. Rayner Euphemia Geraldine Walker

1 For an updated account of Elizabeth Caroline Grey, check Patrick Spedding's article "The Many Mrs Grey: Confusion and Lies about Elizabeth Caroline Grey, Catherine Maria Grey, Maria Georgina Grey and Others" published in September 2010 in PBSA (volume 104:3). John Adcock gives a preview of his findings in his post "The Elizabeth Caroline Grey Hoax" on his blog Yesterday's Papers.