And well did they deserve their reputation, those delicious pies.
James Malcolm Rymer
The murky world of the Victorian 'penny dreadful' was the home of James Malcolm Rymer (1814–1884). With stories appearing in instalments over an extended period, and with many contributors, it could be difficult to establish authorship, but recent research has now identified Rymer as the creator of not only 'Varney, the Vampyre,' one of the principal inspirations for 'Dracula', but also of Sweeney Todd, the 'Demon Barber of Fleet Street'.
James Malcolm Rymer was a Scottish writer of penny dreadfuls and considered to be the author of Varney, the Vampyre and Sweeney Todd.
Very little is known about Rymer except that he was a writer of thrillers from the 1840s to the 1860s for the English bookseller and publisher, Edward Lloyd. In the London Directory for 1841, he is listed as a civil engineer, living at 42 Burton Street, and the British Museum catalogue mentions him in 1842 as editing Queen’s Magazine.
Rymer’s novels appeared in England under his own name as well as anagrammatic pseudonyms such as Malcolm J. Errym and Malcolm J. Merry.