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Record 12097

Reading Experience:

'The favourite literary pabulum of us boys at school, however, was less classical: "penny bloods" and other Weeklies issued in penny sheets, such as "Sweeny Todd the Barber". Romantic stories of highwaymen circulated freely from boy to boy until reduced to rags: Dick Turpin, Spring-heeled Jack, the gallant Claude Duval, gracefully dancing on the greensward with the ladies he had robbed, Edith the Captive, Edith Heron, with what impatience we awaited the issue of the next number, with what absorbing interest we followed the thrilling adventure!... What it did was to evoke the reading habit, and to one boy at least that was a valuable endowment. Nor did the "Boys of England" proffer a much healthier pabulum to the hunger of the young barbarian for extra-lawful adventure. I can even today visualise the number I read with the lovely alliterate title of its opening story, "Alone in the Pirates' Lair" - and the front page illustration - Jack Harkaway, sitting before the pirate on the island, open-eyed, drinking in the recital of his hazardous deeds;...'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Between 1 Jan 1852 and 31 Dec 1870
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London, Spitalfields
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Thomas Okey
Age Child (0-17)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1852
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: apprentice
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: [unknown]
Title: Claude Duval
Genre: Fiction, Ephemera
Form of Text: Print: Serial / periodical
Publication details: penny bloods/ penny dreadful
Provenance: reading group


Source Information:

Record ID: 12097  
Source - Print  
  Author: Thomas Okey
  Editor: n/a
  Title: A basketful of memories: An autobiographical sketch
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 1930
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 20
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Thomas Okey, A basketful of memories: An autobiographical sketch (London, 1930), p. 20,, accessed: 22 February 2024

Additional comments:



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)