At Atlas Obscura, Sarah Durn looks at the history of penny dreadfuls, “grisly tales of murder, crime, and the supernatural” that enthralled Victorian children and teenagers and kept them reading. “The popularity of penny dreadfuls had another side,” Durn writes. “They helped to promote literacy, especially among younger readers, at a time when, for many children, formal education was nonexistent or, well, Dickensian. […] People were invested in the stories of Jack Harkaway and Sweeney Todd, and there was only one good way to keep up—learn to read.”
“The Boardwalk’s kitsch, the kitsch of Trump’s former properties along the Boardwalk, merely reinforce how retro a mogul the candidate is: a throwback who doesn’t care he’s a throwback, who’s barely aware he is, dressed to impress in a padded Brioni suit and a tie with a scrotum-sized knot.” Novelist Joshua Cohen takes one last trip (maybe?) to the Atlantic City of his youth for n+1. Related: Turns out Cohen’s not the only novelist who’s worked as a casino dealer.
“One of the most rewarding parts of reading Jane Eyre as a thirteen-year-old Midwesterner is taking a wild shot in the dark at the meaning of all of the untranslated French passages.” Mallory Ortberg at The Toast takes a shot at translating some of Jane Eyre’s trickier passages. Bonus: here are a bunch of reasons why Mr. Rochester is a creep.