150 years ago: ‘Malaeska’, the birth of the dime novel

Today marks a big literary milestone of sorts. Serialized Harlequin romances, comic books, cheap paperbacks and pulp magazines filled with tales of gangsters and spies all trace themselves to the ‘dime novel’, a cheaply produced, cheaply bought publication of the mid and late 19th century, introducing breezy, far-flung tales to readers of lower classes. Although… Read More


PODCAST: Who Murdered Mary Rogers?

It’s a mystery! It’s 1841 and the most desirable woman in downtown Manhattan — the ‘beautiful cigar girl’ Mary Rogers — is found horribly murdered along the Hoboken shore. Hear some of the stories of this case’s prime suspects and marvel at the excessive attentions of the penny press. Also: Edgar Allen Poe takes a… Read More