- Title: Sweeney Todd: The Real Story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street
- Author: Peter Haining
- ISBN: 9781861059895
- Page: 417
- Format: Paperback
Sweeney Todd, the notorious Demon Barber, has been called the greatest mass murderer in English history With the aid of an ingenious revolving chair and a cut throat razor, he is said to have robbed and butchered than 160 victims in his barber shop in Fleet Street, before taking the remains to nearby Bell Yard where his accomplice, Margery Lovett, cooked their fleshSweeney Todd, the notorious Demon Barber, has been called the greatest mass murderer in English history With the aid of an ingenious revolving chair and a cut throat razor, he is said to have robbed and butchered than 160 victims in his barber shop in Fleet Street, before taking the remains to nearby Bell Yard where his accomplice, Margery Lovett, cooked their flesh for her meat pies Despite being as infamous in London s history as Jack the Ripper, Todd s story has been almost completely ignored by historians In this definitive biography, Peter Haining delves into the grim underworld of London 150 years ago to expose the man behind the myth Separating fact from fiction, he reveals a gruesome and bizarre story with a unique criminal heart.
Recent Comments "Sweeney Todd: The Real Story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
Sweeney Todd’s crimes struck horror into the hearts of eighteenth century Londoners, and continue to chill and fascinate two hundred years later. According to the legend, Todd was a barber with a grimy shop on Fleet Street. When solitary victims settled into his chair for a shave, the ‘Demon Barber’ would pull a lever that opened the floor beneath the chair and pitched them into the dark cellar below. If the fall did not kill them, he would cut their throats, and then help himself to their [...]
The problem is with this book is that it claims to tell the real story of Sweeney Todd and says that 25 years of research went into it. Haining asserts that Todd was a real person citing dates and the like but doesn't back this up.In no way is this a well researched book - there is no bibliography or documentation that one would expect in anything classing itself as a non-fiction work dealing with history.Poorly written and its seems no one proof read it as there are some glaring mistakes.Happil [...]
Am currently reading this book - by mistake. I thought it was the READ Sweeney Todd book, but alas,it is only a historical review of the times of Sweeney Todd.The book is interesting although the author goes on inconsequential tangents and I often forget what the original purpose of the chapter/paragraph/sentence is.I'll certainly finish reading it - hopefully it will be informative for when I read the actual story of Sweeney Todd![Additional note: I've decided not to finish reading this as I pi [...]
i have been a fan of this story since i saw angela lansbury do it in new york 20 years ago. i've seen it done locally as well, and am THRILLED that a movie has been produced. johnny depp is an EXCELLENT sweeny.
This book could be recommended to:History Buffs : The author took great lengths to assemble historical records and cross reference them with detailed graphic depictions of what was going on in London at the time. The complete bibliography at the back of the book is worth looking into. Those doing research on their own will learn why certain parts of history really are hard to come by and how you can find new avenues of research. Steampunk fans: Children of the Nineteenth and Eighteenth century d [...]
Originally, I had this in my 'true crime' shelf, but had to remove it from there after my reading of the first few chapters. Although Haining tries to pass this off as a researched account proving that Sweeney Todd did truly exist in London, he fails abysmally. The writing is not terrible, and many of the facts about London culture were interesting. However, Haining fails to provide any evidence that what he claims as fact did actually occur. The first half of the book is a confused mix of "this [...]
Lo que menos me gusta en este mundo es atacar a otros colegas escritores, menos aún si como en el caso del Sr. Haining, han pasado a mejor vida. Opino que no hay reglas a la hora de escribir un libro, cualquier fórmula es buena, ya que a fin de cuentas todos los escritores "mentimos" a nuestros lectores contándoles historias que no son ciertas.El drama viene cuando un escritor quiere hacer pasar por cierta una historia inventada, y se basa en argumentos, en pruebas que simplemente provienen d [...]
Okay, so when I picked this book up, I was expecting a novel. 1st person point of view, 3rd person, I didn't know. Or care, really. The first three chapters though, were something I thought to be an author's note of some sort, but I read it anyway. It was the beginning of the fourth chapter, however, that I realized it was not a novel, but rather, a biography. And upon this discovery, I put together the facts that a biography is a work written about someone by someone else. NOT FICTION. Learning [...]
I must admit that I always thought the character of Sweeney Todd was nothing more than a figment of a warped imagination, used to scare children or produce a strange play and an even stranger motion picture. As with all of Peter Hainings books, it is well written and researched. If you like horror/thriller, true-crime books, this is the one for you. Just don't read it at the dinner table.
Quick read - good for the rainy days. I have done the "Ripper walk" in London more than i care to admit (used to be a tour guide there.Had I of actually listened to my peers and read this book when it was given to me in 1998 - I would have been all over Fleet Street. Dark, vicious, and forbiding - the best of London.
I never review books, but I wanted to put up a note about this one. I bought it a few years back and was thinking that it would be an interesting read as I didn't know Sweeney Todd was based on a true story. Come to find out when I started to read Haining's book, that it is indeed not true at all. At best the story of Sweeney Todd is based off of other true life criminals, and at worst it is a complete fabrication. As many of my fellow readers have mentioned, Haining states that the book is a tr [...]
Enjoyable enough once he stops trying to prove Sweeney was a real person. Some really questionable "research"
Sometimes I'm a little slow on popular culture. When the Sondheim musical on Sweeney Todd came out, it didn't seem to me such a big thing and I had never heard of Sweeney Todd. Of course, I did learn who he was and why he was famousEN Johnny Depp made the movie with Tim Burton and I couldn't resist that team. Now I'm on the lookout for other Sweeney Todd stuff. Hence this book.Haining has me convinced that Sweeney Todd really existed. But this book insists it is the REAL story of the man's life [...]
i didn't really know much about Sweeney Todd before to be honest. i thought he was some sort of ghost barber or phantom ha. i was only interested in his story after watching the film adaption, which seems to be a sort of regular thing these days. this book was actually pretty interesting and educational in terms of historical facts. i learnt a lot about well murder. including other famous mass murderers such as Sweaney Beane and Fritzl. i didn't actually know there were so many ways to horrifica [...]
There's a cracking book to be written about Sweeney Todd, but unfortunately this isn't it. In fact, this is the kind of book that really irritates me - although it is obvious that Haining has done a lot of research on the subject, he doesn't seem to understand how to use it properly or edit it for relevance. This book is mostly badly written tosh, and it is also extremely badly edited and referenced; there are far too many examples of the lazy use of phrases like 'the evidence suggests' (what ev [...]
Though the existence of Sweeney Todd is under debate, Peter Haining makes an interesting case for him. Most of his evidence is simply speculation, but it is an interesting read if you are interested in the real story and history of the Sweeney Todd tale.One thing I found annoying about the book was that Haining often goes on unnecessary tangents that really have nothing to do with the tale of Sweeney Todd and don't help to prove his case - they are simply there.But, other than that, I found the [...]
I know the author did his Research on all things Sweeney Todd, but the last 3 chapters of the book seemed very unnecessary. I first want to say that this author needs to fire his editor. There were so many typos and mistakes in the book that it was distracting from the story. Haining goes off on random tangents and much more detail than is necessary for this book. He almost contradicts himself throughout the book. I thought the book of the book was to present proof Todd existed, but the author s [...]
This book was a disappointment, not what I was expecting it to be. From the annotation on the back cover I expected it to be a scholarly historical work, with footnotes and such, making the case for Sweeney Todd's existence and chronicling what little is known of his life. Instead, the book provided a few chapters for Todd's life and crimes and his trial, then the second half focused on the impact Todd had on history and all the plays, musicals, etc done about him. Which is fine if you like that [...]
While the life and history of Sweeney Todd himself is interesting, there's not much to hold my attention after he dies in this book. I want to know about Sweeney Todd, I want to know more about how his early life was, how he came into contact with his profession as a barber, and how he thought that murdering people and turning them into meat pies with Mrs. Lovett would be a good idea. While this book gave a very basic answering to all of these questions, I always want to go deeper, it doesn't se [...]
As someone who really loved the Movie directed by Tim Burton as well as watching the original Broadway play I really enjoyed this book. Not only do you learn of the actual story of Sweeney Todd you learn about his history of how he became the know Demon Barber of Fleet Street, as well as other characters who is believe to have given him the ideas of his murderous plan. He's a character who isn't well know like the famous Jack he Ripper but his story is much more violent, detailed, and successful [...]
If you've seen Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd starring Johnny Depp, then you'll likely enjoy reading the truth behind the fictions. It's a slim book (15 chapters and 150 pages) and is illustrated with many drawings of the period. Since there's not much to be told about Sweeney himself, the author fleshes out the story with historical backgrounds, biographies of other people connected with Sweeney, play reviews and more. I enjoyed it greatly and have given my copy to others who are equally interested. [...]
This would've gotten three stars if it hadn't been for the last few chapters. The author spent the last few chapters discussing Sweeney Todd in pop culture, and quite frankly, not only did I find it boring, but it also in no way was applicable to him trying to prove that 1)Sweeney Todd existed and is more than just legend, and 2) That not only did Sweeney Todd exist, but that he did murder a large number of people and with his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, turn them into meat pies.
This is not the version of Sweeney Todd seen in the film, and based on the victorian play which was romanticised by adding the young lovers.This is based on information in the Newgate calender, other documentation of the 1800's and local folklore and knowledge of the area of Temple Bar.It's interesting reading, although I did enjoy the latest film this is the more believeable version for me.
I liked this book a lot more before Hollywood ruined it. Not that the casting wasn't right, who to play Sweeney Todd than Johnny Depp? But the whole musical and cheesey undertones of it? The book probably would have had 3 stars if I hadn't watched the movie first. I suppose that hurt the book for me. Sad but true. Usually, the movie doesn't affect my opinion of the book (and the book is 99% of the time better than the movie) but this one did for some strange reason. :0(
A really good read, taking the opposing viewpoint to Mack's "The Wonderful And Suprising History Of Sweeney Todd," and intriguingly USES EXACTLY THE SAME EVIDENCE TO PROVE HIS THESIS -- that Sweeney Todd was not an urban legend but a real, live person. he has all kinds of facts, figures and dates with citations. Not quite as absorbingly written as Mack's, but more dramatic and far more grisly, which is always good for me.
A thorough and entertaining account of the Demon Barber based on the Newgate Calender publications of the 1800's and not the romanticized Victorian version. This is a candid look at the man behind the legend giving the how, where and whens of his crimes, trial and execution and how Todd has influenced popular culture ever since. The only flaw is the lack of source identification and so the reader is left wondering how much is real and how much is conjecture.
it's not the best written book, and far from the best edited (punctuation mistakes, grammar issues, words missing outright), but the facts are interesting enough to keep the attention through to the end, and the book also talks about how the legend grew, and that was pretty neat. read it for candy, not for serious literature needs.
I read this book as research for my multi-genre project senior year of high school. I really enjoy serial killers, so to read about one of the most infamous from centuries ago is thrilling. Sweeney Todd is gruesome. He's the original Bogey-Man.
Not bad, but it could have been better. More like a 3.5 rating. Not war I was hoping for.
I had never seen the play, but I read this a few years ago. I finally watched the film with Depp last night, and I can say that the play / movie differs considerably in parts.
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