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Charles Reade was a notable English novelist and dramatist during the mid 1800’s and today, June 8th, marks what would have been his 202nd birthday! To celebrate, check out these 5 facts about this classic writer.

1. His Best-Known Works:

Charles was best known for the classic work, The Cloister and the Hearth, a story set in the 15th century and follows a young writer himself as he faces challenges within himself about how much one’s life should belong to the church and how much one should be devoted to it.

2. You’ve Probably Never Heard of Him Because…

Although he was a familiar name during the mid 19th century, during the end of the 1800’s, and close to the end of his life, his works became less and less popular. There is no clear reason why. Perhaps the Pre-Roaring Twenties stage set the tone for a more liberating view of religion and spirituality.

3. Daughter Troubles

Charles and his wife adopted a daughter, though she was completely cut off from her parents when she snuck off and eloped with an actor.

4. Fellow Author George Orwell Wasn’t a Big Fan

When asked about Charles’ literary appeal, Orwell had this to say:

“Reade was a man of what one might call penny-encyclopaedic learning. He possessed vast stocks of disconnected information which a lively narrative gift allowed him to cram into books which would at any rate pass as novels. If you have the sort of mind that takes a pleasure in dates, lists, catalogues, concrete details, descriptions of processes, junk-shop windows and back numbers of the Exchange and Mart, the sort of mind that likes knowing exactly how a medieval catapult worked or just what objects a prison cell of the eighteen-forties contained, then you can hardly help enjoying Reade.”

Ouch.

5. Other Notable Works by Him:

It is Never Too Late to Mend

-Peg Woffington

Christie Johnstone

Foul Play

 

Happy Birthday to Charles Reade and to all the June birthdays out there!

 

Featured image via Kids Britannica 

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