While many of the profitable Universal monster movies were given sequels, Frankenstein’s first one is of particular interest.
With the success of the original picture, Universal realized it needed the director James Whale to come back and do the follow up, too. Whale, however, thought he’d done as much with the story as he could and was uninterested in working on a sequel.
He finally consented after being given full control of the picture including the script (along with a promise he could direct another film in which he was interested.
The result was one of those rare things, a motion picture sequel which is considered better than the original, similar to The Godfather Part 2.
Karloff repeated his role as the monster, while actress Elsa Lanchester took the part of the creature’s mate created by Frankenstein in order to fulfill a promise to the monster.
Lanchester also played the writer, Mary Shelley, in a flashback at the beginning of the picture.
Despite the bride only appearing for a few minutes at the end of the production, the makeup work of Jack Peirce again provided the world with an indelible image of a literary character.
Dragons – In her book Monsters and Grotesques in Medieval Manuscripts, Alixe Bovey explains “the monsters of the Bible are few, but important: the first is the serpent who tempts Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, resulting in their expulsion from Paradise.
Generally interpreted to be the Devil in disguise, in several ways this serpent is the archetype for demonic monsters of the Middle Ages.
Its snaking body a kind of metaphor for opportunistic cunning, the serpent is able to prey on human weaknesses such as pride and greed.”
The dragon is the ultimate form of the serpent and can be found in many medieval tales. In bestiaries it is said that their most powerful weapon is the tail, which could be used to squeeze and suffocate their prey.
Elephants are said to be their mortal enemy, but one can also find several saints who do battle with dragons.
“The Moon and the Crow”, Photograph by Gideon Knight of the United Kingdom, is the winner of the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award for 2016.
Knight lives near Valentines Park in London and he visits regularly in order to take photographs.
One winter evening the perfect tableau presented itself: a rising full moon set in the blue light of dusk formed the perfect backdrop for the spindly twigs of a sycamore tree upon which rested a solitary crow.
The various components of the scene “made it feel almost supernatural, like something out of a fairy tale,” said Gideon.
For the young photographer, this is one tale that’s come true.
Victorian Britain experienced social changes that resulted in increased literacy rates.
With the rise of capitalism and industrialisation, people began to spend more money on entertainment, contributing to the popularisation of the novel. Improvements in printing resulted in newspapers such as Joseph Addison’s The Spectator and Richard Steele’s The Tatler, and England’s more fully recognizing the singular concept of reading as a form of leisure; it was, of itself, a new industry.
Other significant changes included industrialization and an increased capacity for travel via the invention of tracks, engines, and the corresponding railway distribution.
In accordance with these changes, the demand for literature in the mid-nineteenth century intensified dramatically.
The penny dreadfuls, named for both their cheap nature, and poor, sensational quality, erupted into existence and met the desires of the poor class.
The penny dreadfuls “became by far the most alluring and low-priced form of escapist reading available to ordinary youth, until the advent in the early 1890s of future newspaper magnate Alfred Harmsworth’s price-cutting ‘halfpenny dreadfuller’ (Springhall 568).”
The term “dreadful” was originally assumed to express societal anxiety or moral alarm over the new profitable innovation directed at the youth. In reality, the serial novels were overdramatic and sensational, but generally harmless.
If anything, the penny dreadfuls, although obviously not the most enlightening or inspiring of literary selections, resulted in increasingly literate youth in the Industrial period.
The wide circulation of this sensationalist literature, however, contributed to an ever greater fear of crime in mid-Victorian Britain.
These serials started in the 1830s, originally as a cheaper alternative to mainstream fictional part-works, such as those by Charles Dickens (which cost a shilling [twelve pennies]) for working class adults, but by the 1850s the serial stories were aimed exclusively at teenagers.
The stories themselves were reprints, or sometimes rewrites, of Gothic thrillers such as The Monk or The Castle of Otranto, as well as new stories about famous criminals.
Some of the most famous of these penny part-stories were The String of Pearls: A Romance (introducing Sweeney Todd), The Mysteries of London (inspired by the French serial The Mysteries of Paris), and Varney the Vampire.
Highwaymen were popular heroes; Black Bess or the Knight of the Road, outlining the largely imaginary exploits of real-life English highwayman Dick Turpin, continued for 254 episodes.
Working class boys who could not afford a penny a week often formed clubs that would share the cost, passing the flimsy booklets from reader to reader.
Other enterprising youngsters would collect a number of consecutive parts, then rent the volume out to friends.
In 1866, Boys of England was introduced as a new type of publication, an eight-page magazine that featured serial stories as well as articles and shorts of interest.
It was printed on the same cheap paper, though it sported a larger format than the penny parts
Numerous competitors quickly followed, with such titles as Boys’ Leisure Hour, Boys’ Standard, Young Men of Great Britain, etc.
As the price and quality of other types of fiction works were the same, these also fell under the general definition of penny dreadfuls.
Read on further via Penny dreadful – Wikipedia.