Sunday, February 14, 2010


Free Dreadfuls

Terrific news in last Sunday's Times of London:

MORE than 65,000 19th-century works of fiction from the British Library’s collection are to be made available for free downloads by the public from this spring....Many of the downmarket books known as “penny dreadfuls” will also be made available to the public, including Black Bess by Edward Viles and The Dark Woman by J M Rymer. Altogether, 35%-40% of the library’s 19th-century printed books — now all digitised — are inaccessible in other public libraries and are difficult to find in second-hand or internet bookshops.

Penny dreadfuls and dime novels verged were basically disposable literature, so they can be absurdly difficult and sometimes outright impossible to track down -- this is a wonderful development.

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