Violent Victorians: Popular Entertainment in Nineteenth-Century London

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Hardback
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By drawing attention to the wide range of gruesome, bloody and confronting amusements patronised by ordinary Londoners this book challenges our understanding of Victorian society and culture. From the turn of the nineteenth century, graphic, yet orderly, 're-enactments' of high level violence flourished in travelling entertainments, penny broadsides, popular theatres, cheap instalment fiction and Sunday newspapers. This book explores the ways in which these entertainments siphoned off much of the actual violence that had hitherto been expressed in all manner of social and political dealings, thus providing a crucial accompaniment to schemes for the reformation of manners and the taming of the streets, while also serving as a social safety valve and a check on the growing cultural hegemony of the middle class.