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A Database of Cheap Literature, 1837-1860
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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.
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:
French authors' works were massively translated, mostly taken from the stage or from the newspapers' romans-feuilletons:
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:
A few works adapted or translated works come from authors of other nationalities:
Operas, melodramas, and songs were adapted into penny bloods. Here are some of their composers:
A couple of penny bloods were inspired by engravings. Here are some of the artists:
Finally, some adapted works orginated from named authors of which the nationality remains unknown:
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.
How to Cite
Léger-St-Jean, Marie. Price One Penny: A Database of Cheap Literature, 1837-1860. [19 March 2017]. Faculty of English, Cambridge [26 April 2017] (http://priceonepenny.info).© 2010-2017 Marie Léger-St-Jean
Last Updated: 19 March 2017