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Victorian Sensation

Or the Spectacular, the Shocking and the Scandalous in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Michael Diamond
 

Victorian Sensation

A captivating look at the scandalous and sensational media stories that gripped Victorian society.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781843311508
October 2004 | 336 Pages | 197 x 127mm / 7.75 x 5 | 40+ colour plate section and halftone illustrations throughout
 
PRICE:  £9.99  /  $18.95  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com
 
 
9781843311508

About This Book

'This enthralling book shows that the Victorians revelled in political and sexual scandals, murder reports, and the antics of royalty, the upper classes and celebrities. Diamond tackles his theme with verve and skill.' —'Sunday Times'

'Entertaining… the newspapers were offering a glimpse into another kind of world, an assertion that people living not very far away from the reader had a very different, and probably more exciting, lifestyle.' —'Guardian'

'This is a fun book. The reader is constantly thinking , "Ah that's what it was all about" The book is well illustrated with the sort of ephemera of the period that is now so sought after, and there are many quotes from the music hall balladeers who were quick to latch on to each and every sensation as soon as it became hot news.' 'Bookdealer'

From political sleaze and scandal to West End hits and the 'feel-good' factor, Michael Diamond explores the media stories that gripped Victorian society, in an age when newspapers became cheap, nationally distributed and easily accessible to all classes. Fully illustrated, and drawing on a wealth of original material, 'Victorian Sensation' sheds light on the Victorians' fascination with celebrity culture and their obsession with gruesome and explicit reportage of murders and sex scandals. With a vivid cast of characters, ranging from the serial poisoner William Palmer, to Charles Dickens, Jumbo the Elephant, distinguished politicians and even the Queen herself, this passionate analysis of the period reveals how the reporting methods of our own popular media have their origins in the Victorian press, and shows that sensation was as integral a part of society in the nineteenth century as it is today.

Readership: A riveting and illuminating read for anyone interested in the origins of celebrity culture and the curiosities of the Victorian era.

Author Information

Michael Diamond has been an editor, producer and presenter for the BBC, where he worked on 'The World at One' and the 'BBC World Service'. He has a lifelong interest in the Victorian Age. He is also the author of 'Lesser Breeds: Racial Attitudes in Popular British Culture, 1890–1940' (Anthem Press, 2006).

Table of Contents

Introduction; Chapter 1: Royalty; Chapter 2: Political Movements; Chapter 3: Religion and Morality; Chapter 4: Sex Scandal; Chapter 5: Murder; Chapter 6: The 'Sensation Novel'; Chapter 7: The 'Sensation Drama'; Chapter 8: Stars of Entertainment; Afterword; Chronology of the Main Events Mentioned; Notes; Index