The Illustrated Police News The Shocks, Scandal & Sensations of the Week 1864-1938 by Linda Stratmann
is a powerful book, reporting the adventures of a magazine born with the intent of telling the most horrible sad facts to its readers: the subject of our interest is The Illustrated Police News.
This magazine was pretty cheap: for a penny you could read stories of homicides, suicides, incidents, weird and scaring stories told with much gusto.
Born in 1864 and passed through various owners, Purkess the most important one, this magazines was largely recognizable thanks to the stunnign sketches realized by collaborators. Wherever it was possible to go, the magazine sent drawers for reporting not just via words but also via sketches, people, events, sad facts. Was there an homicide? Great: drawers needed to represent it; a suicide? Same story.
It was unclear if people working in that reality were paid, but as also written by the author, if it was difficult to be published by a newsmagazine like The Times, differently it was extremely simple to approach some people at the Police News for a collaboration. Sketches, pieces, everything. Journalist worked mainly coping, or elaborating pieces written by reporters of Reuters and similars when they could not go in the place where the act took place.
You will find probables and improbables news in this book, reported diligently by the Police News. What I love the most of this magazine are superb illustrations. I always love illustrations and sketches are seriously powerful although not yet anymore used too much in magazines or newsmagazines. In this sense the Police News is strong and enthusiatically powerful.
You will read about the existence of several, big and cruent facts occurred in England, but also a forgotten kid brought to the local police station; an elephant, Jim, once was spotted to London completely free. Londoners don't panic for these big animals because they are peaceful.
Another story involves an eagle and a baby, potentially captured by the eagle in North Carolina, and then abandoned because too heavy although the story's credibility is not big.
Divided in nine sections, you can read this book entirely or as I would suggest, jumping here and there through the sections for capturing the best, curious, sometimes scaring news reported. A news I found curious is the one of a man who was severely injured and later died when a coffin collapsed on his body during a funeral. What a lack of luck.
In its exxagerations, the Police News has anticipated what the world would have become later, thanks also to the rest of available medias.
I bought this book at the store of Books for Dogs located in Umbertide.
Anna Maria Polidori