"Mary Bateman, the Yorkshire Witch"
Yorkshire Witch, was written by Thomas Peckett Prest in 1840. Under the direction of Edward Loyd, Prest endeavored to write bloody tales, often creating storylines from news headlines. Mary Bateman (1768 – 20 March 1809) was an English con artist who would steal and pretend she had supernatural powers to deceive her marks. She befriended a husband and wife ( William and Rebecca Perigo) who believed in her abilities. They paid her a substantial amount of money for her magical potions, spells and such. Rebecca eventually died eating pudding laced with poison. Her husband grew suspicious and contacted authorities which led to Mary's arrest. Mary denied any wrongdoing, but the authorities found poison and other incriminating items in her belongings. She was sentenced to death by hanging in March 1809. Afterwards, "her body was put on public display with strips of her skin being sold as magic charm to ward off evil spirits." Ack!. That's just gross. You can read more information about Mary here. Anyway, there are no known copies of the penny dreadful, Prest created based on that original story which is really too bad. I suspect with his talent for flair and romance, there might have been a riveting read on our hands.
"Edward Zane Carroll Judson"
Since there is little on penny dreadfuls that begin with the letter Z, I focused on an author from the U.S. who wrote serials. Edward Zane Carroll Judson was an American, using the pen name Ned Buntline, who wrote serials such as The King of the Sea. A tale of the fearless and free and The Virgin Bride. A romance and more. Ned had a seasoned background in the Navy and military and later roamed the Wild West with the likes of Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill. This author led an amazing life to say the least. He produced Wild West shows with Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack Omohundro and even claimed he nicknamed "Buffalo Bill" for the hero of his serial novel Buffalo Bill, the King of the Border Men, published in the New York Weekly" in 1869. "Ned Buntline was an American publisher, journalist, writer, and publicist." I was able to find most of my information about Edward Zane Carroll Judson here, but this image of him hanging with Buffalo Bill is perhaps my favorite.
Not too bad for Y & Z. Anyway, that's a wrap! I'm off this weekend to spend time reading the blog posts of other folks since I've been remiss this last week. Enjoy your weekend!