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Crying for the Light, Vol. 1 [of 3] or Fifty Years Ago   By: (1820-1898)

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In this gripping and poignant narrative, the author skillfully transports readers back to a time long forgotten, offering them a glimpse into an era that shaped the lives of countless individuals.

Set fifty years ago, the story is told through the eyes of J. Ewing Ritchie, who expertly weaves together various personal accounts and historical events, providing a multifaceted understanding of life in that tumultuous period. Through his vivid descriptions, readers are immersed in a world plagued by political unrest and social disparities, allowing them to truly comprehend the challenges faced by ordinary people during this time.

Ritchie’s attention to detail is commendable, as he meticulously constructs an authentic and realistic atmosphere that transports readers to the heart of the narrative. The characters feel remarkably genuine, each undergoing their own struggles and triumphs. Their experiences, though unique, are relatable and evoke a range of emotions in readers, from empathy to heartache.

The author’s prose is elegant and evocative, skillfully capturing the essence of the time period and the emotions of the characters. Through his words, Ritchie brings to life the sights, sounds, and sentiments of an era that forever altered the course of history. Readers will find themselves completely engrossed, unable to put the book down as they follow each twist and turn of the plot.

Furthermore, the narrative is not limited to mere historical accounts; it delves into the realm of human emotion and existential dilemmas. Ritchie explores universal themes of love, loss, resilience, and the pursuit of happiness. These deeper explorations add a layer of complexity to the story, inviting readers to reflect on their own lives and the forces that shape them.

While the novel undoubtedly shines in many aspects, it does suffer from a somewhat slow pacing at times. Some readers may find themselves longing for a faster unfolding of events, particularly as the author takes time to establish the historical context. However, this meticulous attention to detail ultimately pays off, as it enriches the overall reading experience and deepens the readers' connection with the characters.

In conclusion, Fifty Years Ago by J. Ewing Ritchie is a captivating historical novel that skillfully transports readers to a bygone era. Through its well-developed characters, vivid descriptions, and expert storytelling, the book provides an immersive and emotionally engaging experience. Whether you are a fan of historical fiction or simply appreciate a well-crafted narrative, this book is sure to leave a lasting impression.

First Page:


Transcribed from the 1895 Jarrold and Sons edition by David Price, email Many thanks to Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, UK, for kindly allowing their copy to be used for this transcription.

“This is the condition of humanity; we are placed as it were in an intellectual twilight where we discover but few things clearly, and yet we see enough to tempt us with the hope of making better and more discoveries.”—BOLINGBROKE.

Crying for the Light or Fifty Years Ago

J Ewing Ritchie Author of ‘East Anglia’

Vol 1

London: Jarrold and Sons Warwick Lane E.C. 1895


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