Friday, June 20, 2008

Red Ralph; Or, The Daughter of Night

Red Ralph; Or, The Daughter of Night a Romance of the Road In the Days of Dick Turpin By Percival Wolfe Published for the London Romance Company by News-Agents' Publishing Company limited, 147 Fleet Street. Illustrations by Robert Prowse, 52 nos. First published Monday, 28 Nov 1864, No. 2 given away with No. 1 with a large gratis engraving.

Red Ralph covered all the bases with characters Dick Turpin, Tom King, Claude Duval, Blueskin, Jonathan Wild, Polly Peachum, Edgeworth Bess, the Yellow Boys and the Beauties of St. Giles. Red Ralph, Captain of the Yellow Band, is so-called because of his entire right hand being a blood red colour because of some mystery he would never explain. Actually a great read with some very gory scenes where Red Ralph cuts the fingers off a corpse for the rings.

The last paragraph of the 52nd number reads >

“Is, then, our story told ? Not quite. Of the strange adventures of Leonore and Laura Delane, and of the mysterious gipsy, Mina, we have more to say, but in another place. In the history of "Wild Will; or, The Pirates of the Thames," will be also found the future life of Red Ralph, and the account of the awful doom which in the end awaited him.”

Now Hounslow Heath and its Moonlight Riders, from the London Romance Company, 7, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street, E.C. , also illustrated by Robert Prowse featured a large giveaway engraving. On top were the words “By Julian St. George, author of "The Withered Hand” “Red Ralph &c.” and then the words "Presented Gratis to all Purchasers of No. 14 of the London Miscellany."

Both Percival George and Julian St. George have been said to be pseudonyms of Charles Henry Ross, and there is no doubt he had plenty to do with the London Romance Company. On 16 Jan 1869 Ross novel A London Romance was published by Tinsley Bros, 18 Catherine Street.

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