Cultural Capital

Awaiting his execution - the new media machine went to work pouring out millions of words on the life of the 'notorious' criminal. Within popular culture, Peace's exploits were marked in ballads, songs, penny gaffe's and street corner broadsheets.

The newly emerging commercial press also expoited the story for commercial gain - a host of publications carried the Peace story - periodicals, penny dreadfuls, regional newspapers and national newspapers.

The Peace story also attracted national attention in relation to middle class disquiet regarding penny dreadful literature and the national press used the crimes to highlight perceived increases in gun crime.

By the turn of the century - Peace was a 'celebrity criminal', a cautionary tale and also - the anti hero figure. Madame Tussaud's placed Peace in their crime exhibition - lurking menacingly in the corner of a darkened lane.

The Twentieth century marked the end of the penny dreadful and the rise of the large publication houses that replaced the independents. Furthermore, it was the moving image that the independents now moved towards and it was in film, that the Peace story would be retold once again.


shel said...

Reading the comic strips featuring Peace, I found it intriguing that he had been changed from a slight, wirily-built Northerner, into a big, burly cock-er-nee.

I was also amused (if that is the correct word) that he had been transformed from being a career criminal, and murderer, into some "defender of the disadvantaged" and "right-er of wrongs".

shel said...

At last week's session, we looked at an illustration which had been labelled in the original source as being leeds town hall.

I had said, during the session, that it looked more like the old Sheffield Town Hall, situated on Waingate, which became the Crown Courthouse. (particularly considering the layout of the windows,and the angle of the land it stood on.)

I managed to get a postcard, showing leeds town hall, a few days ago, and, although the domes are very similar, the buildings have differences, like the frontage of leeds having Grecian pillars all the way along it.