Richard Basset believes his cousin, Sir Charles, has stolen his inheritance. Reade describes insane asylums, the heartless upper class, and scandalously details a sexual relationship between Charles and Rhoda. A review in the London Times suggested to mothers that they should hide such a book from their daughters. Reade riposted with a long and impassioned letter defending his work.
About the Author
Charles Reade (1814-1884) was a prolific English novelist and playwright who sought to expose social injustice in his work. He is remembered for the novels The Cloister and the Hearth (1861), a historical romance; Hard Cash (1863), an expose of abuse in mental asylums; and Put Yourself in His Place (1870), about trade-union terrorism.