In 1857, at the height of his fame and fortune, novelist and social critic Charles Dickens meets and falls in love with teenage stage actress Nelly Ternan. As she becomes the focus of his heart and mind, as well as his muse, painful secrecy is the price both must pay.
Jonathan Anselme, a young English academic, teams up with Max Böhm, an amateur ornithologist, to follow storks on their migration from Switzerland to Africa. Max wants to find out why some birds never return from this journey. However, after Max is found dead in mysterious circumstances, Jonathan decides to make the trip alone, never suspecting that he will find himself caught up in an international web of intrigue. While the Swiss detective Dumaz investigates Max Böhm’s murky past, Jonathan is forced to confront his own troubled history. He uncovers a trail of grisly murders travelling through Bulgaria, Turkey, the Middle East, the Congo along the pathway of the migrating storks and their deadly secret.
Some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. Penny Dreadful is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.