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About The Penny Bloods

Tales from the Penny Bloods presents a series of audio shows done in the tradition of "old time radio plays." These include adaptions of stories from prestigious Victorian gift annuals like the Keepsake and Forget-Me-Not, and from popular magazines like Charles Dickens's All the Year Round and Household Words.

Along the way, of course, our programs will also feature stories from the so-called "Penny Bloods" or "Penny Dreadfuls," (think G. W. M. Reynolds's Mysteries of London), bringing you thrilling tales in which London's high society meets the city's underworld. 

Our episodes will entertain you with adventures and romances, ghosts and criminals, with a dash of comedy thrown in.

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The Tapping on the Wainscot

(as heard on KCBP-FM Radio Theatre)


Join our team of Edwardian ghost hunters in this tongue-in-cheek tale of a haunted house... Haylesbury Manor is on the market - but is everything as it seems? Is it truly haunted? And will Hargreaves get jam on his waistcoat again? 

Adapted from the short stories 'The Ghost

Hunters' by Allen Upward, published in 1905 in the Royal Magazine - along with Carnacki, 'borrowed' from the occult detective stories by William Hope Hodgson.

Join us on our Spotify and YouTube channels!

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The One-Handed Lady

(coming soon to KCBP-FM Radio Theatre)


Join us for a dramatization of the 1843 short story "The One-Handed Lady" by by Calder Campbell, published in The Keepsake 1843.


1843: Now in London, Henry Tamber encounters a mysterious stranger and meets the One-Handed Lady. Whatever is her secret? During a visit with his family, a threatening dream foretells danger.

A tale of mystery, peril and the supernatural, currently being serialised on our Youtube channel.

Tune in to our Spotify and Youtube channels!

Tales from the Penny Bloods is a series of

radio plays based on stories from popular

19th-century magazines. We hope you'll enjoy these tales of crime & the supernatural, romance

& adventure, with a few laughs along the way.

Teachers: you'll also find original texts,

notes, vocabulary, & lesson plans.

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Upcoming episodes

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We are currently in production on an exciting new episode, Snowbound in Song, written and directed by Julia Warren.


This light-hearted farce features  an international opera troupe on tour in the Hebrides,  who run intro trouble on their way to their next engagement. With all the fun of a railroad adventure, there'll be comedy and romance, and music, of course. Plus a mystery passenger in the next carriage - who is he? Why the secrecy? 


However will it turn out? You'll hear all about it when this episode appears in May. 


Catch up on all the  earlier episodes here...

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About the Victorians

British Library:

Posters, newspapers, illustrations and much more, along with expert articles. (

Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century:


A respected, open-access, peer-reviewed scholarly journal covering areas like Romantic and Victorian History, Literature, Musicology, Social History, Visual Culture, etc. (

Victorian History Resources:
Elon University's fine site. (

Victorian Web: 

Great all-round information about lit, history, social history, plus other links. (

                 About the Penny Bloods








Dittmer, Nicole C. Monstrous Women and Ecofeminism in the Victorian Gothic, 1837–1871. (

This books examines the popular Gothic female “monster” figure in early-to-mid-Victorian literature in the context of medical science, ecofeminism, and social history.

Dittmer, Nicole C., ed. Penny Bloods: Gothic Tales of Dangerous Women. (

Includes a selection of famous and obscure tales from nineteenth-century periodicals which feature "dangerous" female characters, among them witches, femme fatales, vampire mistresses and deadly criminals.


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