Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Griffith Gaunt: Charles Reade

I think the 21st century would like Charles Reade if it could be bothered to rediscover him. His books are lively, full of incident, feature strong female characters, a degree of psychological complexity- and attitudes to sex and religion that are passably modern. He got into trouble in his day for being too daring. Charles Dickens said of the novel I'm reading- Griffith Gaunt- that Reade was a good man but he'd put things in this book that he (Dickens) would never have published.

The Cloister and the Hearth is an epic masterpiece. No, really it is. Give it a go. Griffith Gaunt- which Reade thought his best book- is tighter- a novel on a domestic scale- with a plot that deals in sexual intrigue, marital conflict and bigamy. There's a duel, a body in the mere and a trial for murder. It would make a cracking TV serial. You could sell it as The Woman in White meets Poldark- or something along those lines.
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