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Victorian Crime


I had started out by reading an article on North Korea but BBC has a sidebar and there it had this interesting link to Victorian Crime. This is how it starts out, a catchy enough intro to make anyone want to read:

The sensational murder stories in the Victorian era sold newspapers and crime fiction in a way that had never been seen before, stories which continue to fascinate us today.

Yup. The crime genre could (arguably) have started with the Victorians. Lots of things began then, actually, and there’s this cool video I so want to watch on the hidden dangers of the Victorian house but I’m not in the UK so the site won’t let me. I’m very upset about that, but will let it go.

So this crime genre:_65955962_464_british_lib_newgate_c00953-02

For the first time, mass-market newspapers were being created such as The Illustrated Police News which specialised in reporting on crime and criminals, using language and pictures that were far more lurid than that used in modern tabloids.

(Picture is theirs from this artcile.)

“The prototype of the all-knowing detective is a form we still recognise today. We still use the same storytelling formulas that were built in the 19th Century,” adds Flanders.



  1. Interesting about the language and pictures being far more lurid than today. Most people think “Victorian” as staid, avoiding anything the least bit sexual or provocative, but in actuality, they seemed to be the same or more “liberal” than today’s population.

  2. Great post! Victorian crime always makes me think of Edgar Allen Poe. I think those Victorians were far less virtuous and more progressive than many of us believe. lol

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