The Quest for Bloods; A Study of the Victorian Penny Dreadful

Waite, Arthur Edward

Published by Privately Printed, 1997
Used / Buckram / Quantity Available: 0
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Edited and with additional notes on the literature of the byways by Ayresome Johns. A posthumous publication, privately printed. Printer and binder unacknowledged. This is a limited edition with an extremely small limitation. The copyright page states, "First edition. Of this edition, a small number of copies, signed by the editor, are issued with one or more of the original penny numbers. Of the signed issue, this is number three of four copies." The "three" and "four" are written in a neat blue ink hand. Also in that same hand, "Orig art for p 199 Varmey the Vampire # 99 Sweeney Todd # 45 and proof of text only # 10." Note, however, that the editor's signature is nowhere to be found. Black buckram binding, with crisp gilt-stamped titling to the spine. Unbumped spine head and tail, with sharp corners. A few tiny and scarcely noticable bumps along the top edge of the boards. Very clean binding. Text block firmly bound in. 11.75 x 8.25 inches. xii and 320 numbered pages, with 12 full-page or 2/3 page B&W plates by W. T. Horton. An immensely clean copy, and quite tight. Presumed unread. Lovely full-pictorial dust jacket, duotone on a canary yellow background. Unsunned and unclipped. DJ with just a trace of rubbing to the rear wrapper. DJ protected by a clear Mylar over-wrapper. A Near Fine copy in a Near Fine DJ. Rare in any condition. The collector is most unlikely to encounter a finer copy, if any copy at all. With thanks to the Edward Lloyd website for the following: "This study concentrates on the earlier period of the penny dreadful: sensational fiction in penny parts written principally for the Victorian lower classes, at a time when they were flocking to the towns in search of work and prosperity. The term 'penny dreadful' is used generally to apply to all such fiction, from its roots in chapbooks and the gothic novel in the 1830s, to its decline into schoolboy adventure stories up to about 1910. The term 'penny blood' applies to the earlier literature discussed here, written for adults, and filled with criminal, supernatural and melodramatic events. The length of stories depended on their success week by week, ranging from 6 to 206 instalments. The best remembered is The String of Pearls (Sweeney Todd, 1846-47). He also brought vampires, already popular among the literati, to a mass market readership (Varney, 1845-47). These two and several others were re-issued later. Weekly numbers were also made available as a compendium at a higher price and some were made into bound volumes. I must acknowledge the contributions of earlier writers, however prone to error, for all have some scarce and vital information to offer. Frank Jay in Peeps into the Past, 1918-21, and elsewhere, made the first systematic attempt to record basic facts about bloods and the periodicals in which they were serialised. Slips he left as markers still remain in volumes in the British Library's collection. Arthur E. Waite (1857-1942) wrote a rather supercilious account of the literature in articles in Walford's Antiquarian Magazine, Vols. XI & XII, 1887, and in the 1920s recorded his researches in The Quest for Bloods with checklists of titles, unpublished until 1997." Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Bookseller Inventory #

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Quest for Bloods; A Study of the ...
Publisher: Privately Printed
Publication Date: 1997
Binding: Buckram
Illustrator: Horton, William Thomas
Book Condition: Near Fine
Edition: First Edition.

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