The Mystery and Horrible Murders of Sweeney Todd
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, is a figure famous around the world. A sinister hairdresser who is said to have disposed of his unsuspecting customers through a revolving chair, and having robbed and murdered them, handed over their corpses to his partner in crime to make into meat pies, he has few peers in the annals of crime -- or British history for that matter.
Yet this extraordinary character whose name has been familiar to young and old alike since the middle of the Nineteenth Century, is shrouded in mystery:
Was he a real person who actually murdered a hundred and more victims -- or just a figment of a writer's brilliant imagination?
Why is it that although plays featuring his dark deeds have become among the most popular and enduring of any in the history of the theatre, the novel which gave him literary life has been unheard of for a century and a quarter?
And, perhaps most surprisingly of all in view of this notoriety, why has no full length study of the Demon Barber been attempted before now?
These were just some of the questions that had fascinated Peter Haining since his years as a journalist in Fleet Street, and which he finally set out to try and answer in this remarkable book. And not only has he succeeded in coming up with some surprising evidence about Sweeney Todd, but has studied the illusive book which made him famous, and made extensive use of this work. He also looks at the background to the legend, its subsequent enormous success in the entertainment media, and continued growth to the present day. Indeed he discusses all the elements that have gone towards making this such an intriguing story -- and even gives space to a variety of theories about the Demon Barber -- including one idea that he might actually have been a woman!
At long last, this book throws a revealing light on a figure as famous in London lore as Dick Whittington and Jack the Ripper.
Condition: Pre-loved book. Mild yellowing of pages.
Year published: 1979
Sub-genre: Non-fiction, history
Imprint: Frederick Muller Limited
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