The Spring-Heeled Jack Library

In 1838, a series of complaints were raised about an individual or group who were causing a nuisance in the villages around London for causing a disturbance. Some of these are undoubtedly linked to the urban legends of ghosts roaming of fog-swathed streets. However, in February of that year, it was reported that a figure, who came to be known as Spring-heeled Jack, violently assaulted two young women.

This figure and his "pranks" captured the public's imagination, and became the subject of plays and serial novels published weekly. The work of the Spring-heeled Jack project is to make accessible the COMPLETE set of the serial novels and shorter fiction, including the episodes of the serials that are missing from the British Library.

Spring-Heel'd Jack: The Terror of London (1863)

Nearly 600 pages of a Gothic Penny Dreadful serial.


Spring-Heeled Jack: his name struck terror into the hearts of the people of London when Queen Victoria ascended the throne. Twenty-five years later, Jack became the subject of popular fiction through a serial publication about his antics. Few copies of the original publication survive. Even the British Library's collection is missing an issue. In this volume, the missing episode has been restored to complete the narrative of a masked aristocrat who becomes an avenger and defender of the oppressed and the vulnerable. This is the first volume of the Spring-Heeled Jack Library which will restore and make accessible the wildly different serials and short fictions about this focus of urban legend.

This is Volume 1 of the Spring-Heeled Jack Library

Book 1 of the longest Spring-Heeled Jack serials.


Twenty-three years after the first of the Spring-Heeled Jack

"Penny Dreadful" serial was published, and Jack was still a notorious name across the country, featuring in plays as well as the epithet being applied to criminals, as well as sightings in military barracks attributed to Jack. His name still commanded fear.

In 1886 a new serial was published in 48 installments. Jack is no longer a trickster, but a shadowy figure whose appearance freezes the hearts of his enemies and instills courage to the vulnerable women he protects. In particular he protects Ralph Ashton from his wicked relative, Sir Roland Ashton, as Ralph tries to assert his rightful claim on the Ashton Estates.

This is Volume 2 (Book 1) of the Spring-Heeled Jack Library

© 2020 Jon Mackley