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The Fortunate Youth

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By: (1863-1930)

Paul is a poor boy who grew up in London, in the household of his mother and stepfather. His journey to greatness is the subject of our story. But his desired success comes at a very high price.

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PAUL KEGWORTHY lived with his mother, Mrs. Button, his stepfather, Mr. Button, and six little Buttons, his half brothers and sisters. His was not an ideal home; it consisted in a bedroom, a kitchen and a scullery in a grimy little house in a grimy street made up of rows of exactly similar grimy little houses, and forming one of a hundred similar streets in a northern manufacturing town. Mr. and Mrs. Button worked in a factory and took in as lodgers grimy single men who also worked in factories. They were not a model couple; they were rather, in fact, the scandal of Budge Street, which did not itself enjoy, in Bludston, a reputation for holiness. Neither was good to look upon. Mr. Button, who was Lancashire bred and born, divided the yearnings of his spirit between strong drink and dog fights. Mrs. Button, a viperous Londoner, yearned for noise. When Mr. Button came home drunk he punched his wife about the head and kicked her about the body, while they both exhausted the vocabulary of vituperation of North and South, to the horror and edification of the neighbourhood... Continue reading book >>

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