The Baker's Tale
Ruby Spriggs and the Legacy of Charles Dickens
- 11,99 €
- 11,99 €
An evocative historical novel that explores the rising influence of Dickens's work in mid–19th century London through the journey of a young woman's struggle against poverty and injustice.
In the winter of 1836, a young journalist named Charles Dickens held an infant in his arms. Only eight months of age, Ruby Spriggs was living under the most deplorable conditions that existed in London. Crushing poverty seemed her only future.
Through the intervention of kind patrons, the child blossoms into a young woman instilled with a love of learning and books. But the forces that Dickens fought against for most of his life threaten to destroy her.
At the heart of The Baker's Tale is Ruby Spriggs; Edwin Chatfield, the young man who would be her lover; Alexander Murd, the scheming coal baron who would destroy them; Abraham Hart, a dwarf who befriends Ruby in a faraway land; and Octavius Joy, a 19th–century philanthropist cut from unique cloth.
Meticulously researched and masterfully told, The Baker's Tale recreates the voice of beloved author Charles Dickens in gorgeous prose brimming with the atmosphere of historical London. It's a gripping tale of obsession, corruption, hope, and love instilled with the unequaled passion of Dickens's social conscience.
For his latest, Hauser (The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens) expands a Dickensian anecdote into the sweet, simple tale of Ruby Spriggs, an orphan who finds refuge and then love in mid-19th-century London. Though Dickens himself only appears in the copy of Oliver Twist that Ruby reads with her beloved, Edwin Chatfield, his influence is felt in this novel's lofty, moralizing championship of the poor and downtrodden, and the unsparing description of the now-infamous working conditions in the English coal mines. While the caricatured villainy of Edwin's employer Alexander Murd, who sends Ruby alone and broken-hearted to America, is as unlikely as the coincidence that eventually reunites the grieving lovers, the story endears through the generosity of the several benefactors who aid and support the central pair. These include the euphoniously named Octavius Joy, the American bookseller Abraham Hart, and the humble baker Antonio, who tells their story. Hauser's spare prose, unadorned but for the scattered details that anchor the reader in a bygone age, delivers a tale true to its source of inspiration in the generous way it insists the good and pure-hearted will triumph over the wicked.