W.T. Stead Resource Site

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The W.T. Stead Resource Site (WTSRS) is a not-for-profit online reference work on the controversial newspaper editor, publisher, pacifist and spiritualist, William Thomas Stead.

History and content[edit]

Launched in 2001, the WTSRS had its first incarnation as part of The Northern Echo's CommuniGate website, but because of technical and editorial limitations, it was later moved to its current web location. The domain name attackingthedevil.co.uk is inspired by Stead’s quotation, "What a glorious opportunity of attacking the devil."[1]

Much of the material on the WTSRS comes from original primary sources that include key newspaper texts, such as The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon and the "Truth about the Navy". Facsimiles and a number of important contemporary texts written by or about Stead are also available to users.

The WTSRS is categorised into logical sections, each focusing on different aspects of Stead’s life and career. There is a short biography entitled "The Great Educator" and a gallery of public domain images. There is also a public forum to allow users to discuss Stead and/or the issues in which he became embroiled.


The W.T. Stead Resource Site is the work of historian and website designer Owen Mulpetre (BA, Mphil), a former student of Teesside University in Middlesbrough (NE England).

Scholarly use and citation[edit]

Works that cite the WTSRS include:

  • Richard Webster, The Secret of Bryn Estyn, the Making of a Modern Witch Hunt (2005).
  • Simon Goldsworthy, "English Nonconformity and the Pioneering of the Modern Newspaper Campaign," Journalism Studies, (June, 2006)
  • Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor, Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism in Great Britain and Ireland (2009)
  • W. Sydney Robinson, Muckraker: The Scandalous Life and Times of W. T. Stead, Britain's First Investigative Journalist (2012)
  • Gavin Weightman, Secrets of a Titanic Victim: The Story of the Real My Fair Lady (2012)
  • Bridget O'Donnell, Inspector Minahan Makes a Stand: The Missing Girls of England (2012)

Other media which have utilised the WTSRS include the BBC Radio drama, The Maiden Tribute and Mal Pope’s theatrical musical on the Welsh Revivalist, Evan Roberts, Amazing Grace. Most recently, the WTSRS contributed to the Salvation Army's documentary, Our People: The Story of William and Catherine Booth. It has been described as "a treasure trove of contemporary documentation."[2]


  1. ^ In a letter to the Rev. Kendall on becoming editor of the Northern Echo, Stead declared that the position was "a glorious opportunity of attacking the Devil.." See the W.T. Stead Resource Site
  2. ^ Richard Webster, The Secret of Bryn Estyn, the Making of a Modern Witch Hunt (2005), p.681.

External links[edit]