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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street [Paperback]

Anon , Robert L. Mack
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Mar 2008
'Ladies and Gentlemen...I have to state that Mrs Lovett's pies are made of human flesh!' This shocking announcement provides the stunning dénouement to a narrative first published over a period of four months in the winter of 1846-7. The revelation marked only the beginning, however, of the notorious career of Sweeney Todd, soon known to legend as the 'Demon Barber' of London's Fleet Street. The story of Todd's entrepreneurial partnership with neighbouring pie-maker Margery Lovett - at once inconceivably unpalatable and undeniably compelling - has subsequently provided the substance for a seemingly endless series of successful dramatic adaptations, popular songs and ballads, novellas, radio plays, graphic novels, ballets, films, and musicals. Both gleeful and ghoulish, the original tale of Sweeney Todd, first published under the title The String of Pearls, is an early classic of British horror writing. It combines the story of Todd's grisly method of robbing and dispatching his victims with a romantic sub-plot involving deception, disguise, and detective work, set against the backdrop of London's dark and unsavoury streets. This edition provides an authoritative text of the first version of the story ever to be published, as well as a lively introduction to its history and reputation.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (12 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199229333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199229338
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 13.2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Robert L. Mack is the author of Thomas Gray, A Life and editor of The Arabian Nights' Entertainments and Oliver Goldsmith's The Vicar of Wakefield for Oxford World's Classics.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
BEFORE Fleet-street had reached its present importance, and when George the Third was young, and the two figures who used to strike the chimes at old St Dunstan's church were in all their glory—being a great impediment to errand-boys on their progress, and a matter of gaping curiosity to country people—there stood close to the sacred edifice a small barber's shop, which was kept by a man of the name of Sweeney Todd. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC BOOK 6 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is truly amazing, like the movie.
I recommend this book to anyone!
Cover work is pretty as well
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5.0 out of 5 stars love it 22 Oct 2013
By chloe
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
love it good book really enjoyed it it cam quickly had too see the film love the cove of book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book 25 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was researching medieval/17th century barber surgeons and bought this as a sort of by-story. It was a fascinating read. Everyone has heard of the Demon Barber and this is an interesting story.
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By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," a book by Robert L. Mack, who's evidently an expert on the subject of Sweeney Todd, as he's also author of The Wonderful and Surprising History of Sweeney Todd: The Life and Times of an Urban Legend, comes to us as a rather odd tie-in with the recent major movie on the subject, Tim Burton's, starring Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd [DVD] [2007]. And it does tie in with the subject of the infamous Sweeney Todd, in fact. Just not in the way a reader might anticipate.

For the author has edited the earliest-known major literary treatment of the subject. That happens to be an anonymously-written Victorian-era British "penny dreadful," published as an 18-part serial that ran from November 21, 1846 to March 20, 1847, called, "The String of Pearls: A Romance." And the very modern horror tale of the murderous barber and his partner in crime, the cannibalistic Mrs. Margery Lovett, who owned a meat pie shop, is but a subplot in a fusty, melodramatic, rather conventional tale of the romance of Johanna Oakley and Mark Ingestrie.

However, as the writer Mack points out in his very interesting introduction, before the serial had even been completely published, the story of the barber and the pie shop owner had already been lifted from it and used for a wildly popular stage play that would be followed by many more such throughout the Victorian era. And these, of course, were followed by the 1979, multi-award winning, landmark Broadway musical production, by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, that was the basis for Burton's recent movie musical.
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