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Christie Johnstone   By: (1814-1884)

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Christie Johnstone by Charles Reade is a captivating tale of love, perseverance, and societal disparity set amidst the charming backdrop of a small Scottish fishing village. The story follows Christie, a spirited and independent young woman who finds herself caught between the worlds of poverty and privilege.

Reade masterfully weaves a narrative that seamlessly blends romance with social commentary, shedding light on the class divide prevalent during the 19th century. Christie's character is sensitively portrayed, her resilience and determination shining throughout the story. As a humble fisherman's daughter, she struggles to make ends meet, yet remains ever optimistic and steadfast in her pursuit of a better life.

The novel also delves deep into the complexities of love, particularly through Christie's relationships with two vastly different men. There is the kind and generous Lord Ipsden, who is captivated by her indomitable spirit, and Duncan McFarlane, a fellow fisherman who has loved Christie since childhood. The emotional tug-of-war that ensues adds depth and intensity to the narrative, keeping readers on the edge of their seats.

Reade's writing style is nothing short of exquisite. His attention to detail transports readers to the rugged coastlines of Scotland, allowing them to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the fishing village firsthand. Furthermore, his ability to create multi-dimensional characters injects life into the pages, making readers feel an emotional connection to their joys and sorrows.

One of the standout aspects of Christie Johnstone is its exploration of social injustice. Reade bravely tackles themes of prejudice, privilege, and the exploitation of the working class. Through Christie's struggles, we witness the stark contrast between the opulent lifestyles of the aristocracy and the hardships faced by the common folk. This serves as a reminder that beneath the surface, everyone is fighting their own battles.

While the pacing of the story occasionally slows down, it is a minor flaw easily overshadowed by the novel's overall strengths. Reade's ability to impart powerful messages through his eloquent prose keeps readers engaged from start to finish. Additionally, the nuances in his character development add authenticity and depth to the story, ensuring that readers invest emotionally in the outcome.

In conclusion, Christie Johnstone is a thought-provoking and emotionally charged tale that encompasses both beauty and hardship. Through its compelling characters and insightful social commentary, Charles Reade has crafted a novel that stands the test of time. Fans of historical fiction, romance, and stories that delve into the human condition will find themselves immersed in the world of Christie Johnstone.

First Page:



By Charles Reade

Transcriber's Note: Italics are indicated by the underscore character. Acute accents are indicated by a single quote (') after the vowel, while grave accents have a single quote before the vowel. All other accents are ignored.

I dedicate all that is good in this work to my mother. C. R.,


THIS story was written three years ago, and one or two topics in it are not treated exactly as they would be if written by the same hand to day. But if the author had retouched those pages with his colors of 1853, he would (he thinks) have destroyed the only merit they have, viz., that of containing genuine contemporaneous verdicts upon a cant that was flourishing like a peony, and a truth that was struggling for bare life, in the year of truth 1850.

He prefers to deal fairly with the public, and, with this explanation and apology, to lay at its feet a faulty but genuine piece of work.


VISCOUNT IPSDEN, aged twenty five, income eighteen thousand pounds per year, constitution equine, was unhappy! This might surprise some people; but there are certain blessings, the non possession of which makes more people discontented than their possession renders happy.

Foremost among these are "Wealth and Rank." Were I to add "Beauty" to the list, such men and women as go by fact, not by conjecture, would hardly contradict me... Continue reading book >>

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