"except in illustrative woodcuts to a certain type of tales"

A reference to the penny dreadfuls, a lurid genre of sensationalist fiction which was printed in serial form and aimed at young working class people. Packed with tales of blood, gore and intrigue, the pamphlets were designed to thrill and titillate.

Woodcut illustrations were created by carving an image in relief into a block of wood and then printing from it.