"as the shilling shockers say"

Shilling shockers were novels that focused on crime and violence. They were particularly popular in this era of late Victorian England and originally cost one shilling. Penny dreadfuls were part works, printed on cheap paper, that cost one penny a time. This was pre-decimal money, when twelve pennies were equivalent to one shilling, and twenty shillings were equivalent to one pound sterling.

One shilling
Creative Commons AttributionOne shilling - Credit: woody1778a, Flickr