[Sca-cooks] OOP OT Sweeney Todd was Precious stones to ward offevils

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Fri Nov 30 06:17:08 PST 2007

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography contains an entry on
Sweeney Todd where it notes that "Todd, Sweeney [/called / the Demon 
Barber of Fleet Street] (/supp. //fl. /1784), legendary murderer and 
barber, may have his source in a murder reported in the London Chronicle 
of 2 December 1784. ...
and was tried for murder on 29 January 1802, citing (falsely) the 
Newgate Calendar, although there was no factual basis for these statements."
He's not a real person nor are his crimes real in any case.
The entry concludes:
"Todd is perhaps best described as a personification of early 
nineteenth-century fears of the anonymity of urban life built around 
some recorded events and older fictional or legendary sources. "


otsisto wrote:
> There is record of a Sweeney Todd, Sondheim just embellished a bit but
> novelist of the 1800s embellished it first which turned him into an English
> bogeyman. 

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