Victorian Sensation: Or the Spectacular, the Shocking and the Scandalous in Nineteeth-Century Britain
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.
'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.'
'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.'
'This book is a great and not-to-be missed treat for anyone with an interest in
Victorian cultural history.'
'"Victorian Sensation" is consistently entertaining and informative, with readable narratives and a compendium of interesting facts.'
"BBC History, Books of the Year"
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