Sweeney Todd  

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Cover of Sweeney Todd, published by Charles Fox in 48 numbers
Cover of Sweeney Todd, published by Charles Fox in 48 numbers

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Sweeney Todd (1846) is a fictional psychopath/cannibal/pulp fiction antihero. A barber and serial killer, the character appears in various English language works starting in the mid-19th century. His weapon of choice is a straight razor, with which he cuts his victim's throats; in some versions of the story his lover, friend and accomplice, Margery (sometimes Nellie or Claudette) Lovett, bakes the carcasses into meat pies, selling them to unknowing customers. The story was made popular as a musical and was most recently adapted to film as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, directed by Tim Burton.

Early history

Todd's first appearance could have been in a British penny dreadful called The People's Periodical, in issue 7, dated November 21, 1846. The story in which he appeared was titled "The String of Pearls: A Romance," and was probably written by Thomas Prest, who created a number of other gruesome villains. He tended to base his horror stories on grains of truth, sometimes gaining inspiration from real crime reports in The Times.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sweeney Todd" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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