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Cruel Deeds and Dreadful Calamities: The Illustrated Police News 1864-1938 (hardback)

Published Date:
April 2011
British Library Publishing
Bibliographic Details:
Hardback, 160 pages, 280 x 220mm, 100 black and white illustrations
Linda Stratmann
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Cruel Deeds and Dreadful Calamities is a history of the Victorian newspaper Illustrated Police News, often seen as the first tabloid.

The Illustrated Police News was a popular weekly newspaper published in Victorian London. It is often dismissed as a crude publication which aimed to thrill the undiscerning reader with gruesome pictures. Cruel Deeds and Dreadful Calamities sets out to correct that belief by demonstrating the diversity of its subject matter, examining its social and political agenda and revealing the power and compassion in its images.

The Illustrated Police News was a promoter of social change and a campaigner against the evils of cruelty, poverty, drink and crime. It anticipated by many years the features of today's journalism, in the rapidity with which it provided pictures of current news events, its appeal to the emotions, and the involvement of its readers in the reporting process.

This is the first book exclusively about the Illustrated Police News to reproduce the pictures as high quality images, provide a balanced account of its content and cover the full period of its publication. There is substantial new research into how the paper was produced, the men who made it a success, and the stories behind the pictures.

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