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Cruel Deeds and Dreadful Calamities: The Illustrated Police News 1864-1938


Cruel Deeds and Dreadful Calamities: The Illustrated Police News 1864-1938 Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

 “Jack the Ripper Arrested with Victim Alice MacKenzie in Whitechapel.” “Boys Murder Their Mother. Revolting Crime at Plaistow—Shocking Details.” “Horrible Discovery of Human Remains at Rainham.” These are just some of the captions for the true crimes depicted in the Illustrated Police News. Best known for its meticulous coverage of the murders of Jack the Ripper, the weekly newspaper, published from 1864 until 1938, reported murders, hangings, and other dramatic crimes of the time alongside images packed with gruesome detail.

Unapologetic about its sensationalism, the Illustrated Police News has been often dismissed as of little value, merely a crude publication that aimed to thrill the undiscerning reader with prurient pictures. But in Cruel Deeds and Dreadful Calamities, Linda Stratmann sets the record straight, arguing that it was actually a promoter of social change. Stratmann examines its social and political agenda and reveals the power and compassion in its images. She argues that the publication campaigned against the evils of cruelty, poverty, drink, and crime. As well, it anticipated by many years the features of todays journalism, in the rapidity with which it provided pictures of current news events, its appeal to the emotions, and the way it involved its readers in the reporting process.

A highly illustrated and comprehensive look at the Illustrated Police News, this book offers substantial new research into how the paper was produced, the men who made it a success, and the stories behind the pictures. This look into the dark underbelly of Victorian culture will appeal to both crime and history readers alike.

About the Author

Linda Stratmann is the author of nine books on biography and the history of crime, including: Chloroform: The Quest for Oblivion, Whiteleys Folly, Notorious Blasted Rascal, and Fraudsters and Charlatans.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Murder

Chapter Two: Accidents and Disasters

Chapter Three: Cops and Robbers

Chapter Four: Social Comment

Chapter Five: Women

Chapter Six: Animals

Chapter Seven: Celebrities, Scandals and Public Events

Chapter Eight: Achievement, Courage and Competition

Chapter Nine: Supernatural and Strange

Chapter Ten: Cruel and Unusual




Product Details

Stratmann, Linda
British Library
Great britain
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
100 line drawings
11 x 7.5 x 0.6 in

Related Subjects

Business » Communication
Business » General
History and Social Science » Crime » Criminology
History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » Crime » Oversized Books
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
Transportation » General
Travel » General

Cruel Deeds and Dreadful Calamities: The Illustrated Police News 1864-1938 New Hardcover
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Product details 160 pages British Library - English 9780712358118 Reviews:
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