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Periodical: Tales of Enchantment

Summary:   From Pat Deveney's database:

Tales of Enchantment; Or, The Book of Fairies.
A Collection of Original Stories of Magic, Necromancy and Fairy Land.
1836--1836 Weekly
London, England.
Editor: Thomas Peckett Prest.
Publisher: G[eorge] Drake, 12 Houghton-street, Clare Market.
1/1, September 15, 1836-December 15, 1836.
8pp., illustrated and numbered sequentially, 1d.

Twelve numbers survive although more were certainly published or planned since the last breaks off with a promise to complete the story. This serial and its innumerable companions among the Penny Bloods and Penny Dreadfuls of the 1830s on is included here because much of its content is distinguishable from later "occult" material only by its acknowledgement, implied and not expressed, that the material was fiction and entertainment, and because these Gothic accounts prepared the popular background for the appearance of the avowedly non-fiction accounts of spiritualism and the occult. The Penny Bloods are the first cheap, popular production of the wave of "Gothic" literature that had swept England from the 1770s on, priced, because of advances in printing and engraving, for the masses of the newly literate and later more explicitly for children. Beginning in the mid-1830s, probably 100 or more publishers moved into the new field of serialized tales of wonder, horror, mayhem, adventure, pirates, gypsies, brigands, ghosts, demons, vampires, the Wild West, mysterious foreign princesses, Orientalism, tales of the Border and the Seraglio, murderous baronets, gentlemen highwaymen, distinguished from their more upscale three-volume competitors by their price, brevity and garishness. They also featured a delicate salaciousness, more apparent in the illustrations than in the text, in stories like Vice and its Victim: or, Phoebe, the peasant's daughter​, and Victin of Seduction. The most popular of the Penny Bloods ran for four years and more and bragged of selling 30,000 copies each week (£2,500 a week). Thomas Peckett Prest (1810-1859) was one of the earliest and most prolific authors of the genre. He was a musician and denizen of the theater who wrote first for George Drake and then for Edward Lloyd, for whom he produced (as "Bos") dozens of volumes of plagiarized and parodied versions of Dickens’ works: Life and adventures of Oliver Twiss, the Workhouse Boy, Pickwick in America, Barnaby Budge, Nickelas Nickelbury, Penny Pickwick, etc.

This serial, constrained by its title to feature fairies, combined them with magicians, lost princes, temples of fire, magic stars, enchanted serpents, caliphs, spirits and water-spirits and their secret court, genii, demons, sylphs, astrologers, mysterious allusions to the unexplained, romance, etc.

Tales Of Enchantment N1 Sep 15 1836
Tales Of Enchantment N2 Sep 22 1836
Tales Of Enchantment N3 Sep 29 1836
Tales Of Enchantment N4 Oct 6 1836
Tales Of Enchantment N5 Oct 13 1836
Tales Of Enchantment N6 Oct 20 1836
Tales Of Enchantment N7 Oct 27 1836
Tales Of Enchantment N8 Nov 3 1836
Tales Of Enchantment N9 Nov 10 1836
Tales Of Enchantment N10 Nov 17 1836
Tales Of Enchantment N11 Nov 24 1836
Tales Of Enchantment N12 Dec 1 1836

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