Finding Jack Vincent

A London Street Scene

As a child growing up in the 1970s, I possessed a passion for morbid nineteenth century popular literature. I had inherited this trait from my mother, a Catholic turned Spiritualist with a taste for gothic film and fiction. I was thus always dimly aware of the name ‘Jack Vincent’ through the cheap paperback anthologies of… Continue reading Finding Jack Vincent

‘The Wrongs and Crimes of the Poor’: the Urban Underworld of The Mysteries of London in Context

In his literary memoir of 1852, Lions: Living and Dead, John Ross Dix attributed the prodigious popularity of The Mysteries of London to the fact that the penny serial ‘ministered to the depraved appetites of the lower classes,’ while ‘murders, seductions, robberies, horrors of all sorts, spiced with the abuse of the upper orders, formed… Continue reading ‘The Wrongs and Crimes of the Poor’: the Urban Underworld of The Mysteries of London in Context

The Man who wasn’t Dickens: A Profile of G.W.M. Reynolds (1818 – 1879)

‘If  “Mr G.W. Reynolds” be the Mr. Reynolds who is the author of the Mysteries of London, and who took the chair for a mob in Trafalgar Square before they set forth on a window-breaking expedition,’ wrote Charles Dickens in 1849, ‘I hold his to be a name with which no lady’s, and no gentleman’s,… Continue reading The Man who wasn’t Dickens: A Profile of G.W.M. Reynolds (1818 – 1879)