Monday, November 10, 2008

Charles Peace I

Volume I, No.1 of Famous Crimes Past and Present Police Budget Edition was a penny periodical of about 1903 edited and published by Harold Furniss, Caxton House, Gough Square, Fleet Street, London. Many of the fine illustrations were signed 'Cyclops.' There was a companion paper titled Famous Fights Past and Present also edited by Furniss and packed with superb artwork.

Charles Peace was on the cover of No. 1, the continued serial was titled Charles Peace, Most Marvellous Malefactor of the Nineteenth Century and reached novel-length size. There was also a long-running series, In The Times of Torture, a history with pictures of various nefarious implements and their uses - not for the faint of heart -- a Dick Turpin continuity, How Doctor Pritchard Poisoned His Wife and a visit to the Morgue of Paris in that first issue. In times of Torture ended with the following. "Next week we shall describe the refined torture of the Bell Collar, the feindishly cruel Spanish Mouth Pear, and the iniquities of the Vehmgericht."

No. 2 had Burke and Hare on the cover, Volume II, no. 13 had Jack the Ripper on the cover, the continuity was called Jack the Ripper The Story of the Whitechapel Murders, again lavishly illustrated, this time by Ferdinand F. Fissi. Volume II No. 22 serialized the cover story of Margaret Catchpole.

The leading serials and gruesome articles ranged throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and every malefactor known to history was covered. It was horribly sensational and jam-packed with excellent illustrations.

The first series ran for ten volumes and ended at no. 125 in 1905. A second series ran 3 volumes (1908-1909) and ended with no.36. Subsequently it was incorporated in The Illustrated Police Budget which was first published by A. Ritchie & Co., penny dreadful publishers on March 30, 1873. A new edition began June 10, 1893 and ran 880 numbers to April 16, 1910 then became the Illustrated Sporting Budget and Boxing Record from April 23, 1910 to August 6, 1912. The editor was Harold Furniss, the printer publisher was Frank Shaw.

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