Sweeney Todd : The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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9780199229338: Sweeney Todd : The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

The notorious career of Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, has been endlessly retold. But this is the first time the original tale has been reprinted since it was serialized in The People's Periodical in 1846-7.
A sensational story of murder and pie-making, Sweeney Todd is a classic of British horror writing, widely adapted in print and on stage, most famously by Stephen Sondheim, whose unlikely "musical thriller" won eight Tony Awards. This edition offers the original story with all its atmospheric Victorian trimmings. The story of Todd's murderous partnership with pie-maker Margery Lovett-at once inconceivably unpalatable and undeniably compelling-has subsequently set the table for a seemingly endless series of successful dramatic adaptations, popular songs and ballads, novellas, radio plays, graphic novels, ballets, films, and musicals. Both gleeful and ghoulish, the original tale of Sweeney Todd, first published under the title The String of Pearls, combines the story of Todd's grisly method of robbing and dispatching his victims-by way of Mrs. Lovett's meat pies-with a romantic sub-plot involving deception, disguise, and detective work, set against the backdrop of London's dark and unsavory streets. Editor Robert Mack fleshes out the story with a fascinating introduction touching on the origins of the tale, the growth of the legend, and a history of its many retellings. Mack also includes explanatory notes that point out interesting aspects, plus a full chronology of the many versions of Sweeney Todd.
Since Sweeney Todd first entered the public imagination in mid-nineteenth-century, his exploits have chilled and fascinated audiences around the world. This new edition allows modern readers to savor the ghastly original in all its gruesome glory.

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Product Description:

'Ladies and Gentlemen...I have to state that Mrs Lovett's pies are made of human flesh!' This shocking announcement provides the stunning denouement to a narrative first published over a period of four months in the winter of 1846-7. The revelation marked only the beginning, however, of the notorious career of Sweeney Todd, soon known to legend as the 'Demon Barber' of London's Fleet Street. The story of Todd's entrepreneurial partnership with neighbouring pie-maker Margery Lovett - at once inconceivably unpalatable and undeniably compelling - has subsequently provided the substance for a seemingly endless series of successful dramatic adaptations, popular songs and ballads, novellas, radio plays, graphic novels, ballets, films, and musicals. Both gleeful and ghoulish, the original tale of Sweeney Todd, first published under the title The String of Pearls, is an early classic of British horror writing. It combines the story of Todd's grisly method of robbing and dispatching his victims with a romantic sub-plot involving deception, disguise, and detective work, set against the backdrop of London's dark and unsavoury streets. This edition provides an authoritative text of the first version of the story ever to be published, as well as a lively introduction to its history and reputation.

About the Author:


Robert L. Mack is the author of Thomas Gray, A Life and editor of The Arabian Nights' Entertainments and Oliver Goldsmith's The Vicar of Wakefield for Oxford World's Classics.

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