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Record 1553

Reading Experience:

Statement of boy to London society, aim of which to rescue juvenile criminals, demonstrating pernicious influence of penny dreadfuls: Charley reads penny dreadfuls to his brother Bill from the shop window almost every week; one of the serials they read each week is "Tyburn Dick", which gets Bill particularly worked up; They went to the shop, but couldn't find out the conclusion to the serial without purchasing it; therefore they stole the penny number to read at home. Charley concludes to the society: "That was the commencement of it; and so it went on and growed bigger".
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Between 1 Jan 1870 and 31 Dec 1879
Country: England
Time: daytime: after dinnertime
Place: city: London
location in dwelling: at home
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary reactive unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

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


Text Being Read:

Title: Tyburn Dick
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Serial / periodical, penny dreadful
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: stolen


Source Information:

Record ID: 1553  
Source - Manuscript Other
  Author: James Greenwood, "Penny Awfuls", St Paul's Magazine, 12 (1873), pp. 161-168,

Citation: James Greenwood, "Penny Awfuls", St Paul's Magazine, 12 (1873), pp. 161-168,, accessed: 30 May 2023

Additional comments:

Charley said to be about 13 years of age



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