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The Baker's Tale: Ruby Spriggs and the Legacy of Charles Dickens
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Catapult 2015
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Description

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.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
12/01/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781619026698
ASIN:
B017QL9Q5U
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Thomas Hauser. (2015). The Baker's Tale: Ruby Spriggs and the Legacy of Charles Dickens. Catapult.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Thomas Hauser. 2015. The Baker's Tale: Ruby Spriggs and the Legacy of Charles Dickens. Catapult.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Thomas Hauser, The Baker's Tale: Ruby Spriggs and the Legacy of Charles Dickens. Catapult, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Thomas Hauser. The Baker's Tale: Ruby Spriggs and the Legacy of Charles Dickens. Catapult, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:24:07
Date Updated:
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        Thomas Hauser is the author of forty-seven books on subjects ranging from professional boxing to Beethoven. His first novel Missing was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the National Book Award, and was the basis for the Academy-Award-winning film starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek. He wrote Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times – the definitive biography of the most famous man on earth – which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Hauser has written extensively about the sport and business of professional boxing and has published articles in in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and other publications. He is currently a consultant to HBO and lives in Manhattan.

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title
The Baker's Tale
fullDescription

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.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "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. . . 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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
      • content: "This beautifully crafted historical novel by the prolific Hauser…delivers a crisp, colorful narrative with vivid pictures of London's rich and poor, as well as a suspenseful, perilous drama in the style of Dickens."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "Charles Dickens still has one more story to tell. And what a story it is--fit for the plot of a classic Dickens composition…Hauser's mastery of Dickensian language and dramatic flair creates engaging historical fiction, and his depiction of Dickens's social philosophy of championing the poor will resonate with contemporary readers who are concerned about income inequality. Fans of the 19th–century author or of well–researched historical fiction will savor this work."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 12, 2015
        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.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        October 15, 2015
        Extrapolating from a Charles Dickens quote and "comingling" his own words with those of Dickens again, Hauser (The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens, 2014, etc.) delivers a preachy vision of Victorian England where idyllic romance and rapacious capitalism collide. Hauser's latest pastiche shares an era with Charles Dickens, as well as a linguistic style, some sentimentality, and a swathe of social concerns. But Hauser's politics are more bluntly stated--"Crafty avarice grows rich. Honest labour remains poor"--and neither his storytelling nor his characters offer the inventive magic of the original. Hauser's heroine is lovely, blameless, orphaned Ruby Spriggs, who is snatched from poverty to grow up in the motherly care of a baker and then, with the aid of kindly benefactor Octavius Joy, becomes a teacher. It's also through Joy that Ruby meets saintly, handsome pillar of integrity Edwin Chatfield, who's employed by dastardly coal manufacturer Alexander Murd. Murd's scheming, snobby daughter Isabella's infatuation with Edwin leads to the crushing of an innocent heart as Murd bullies Ruby into leaving the country without explaining her actions to anyone, supposedly for the sake of Edwin's good name and future prospects. As heartbroken Ruby sails to Boston and settles there, Edwin, mystified by her disappearance, visits one of Murd's coal mines in Lancashire, an opportunity for some moral tub-thumping on the truly appalling working conditions of the miners, later underlined by a pit accident that kills 120 workers. Ruby's eventual letter of explanation is the key to the story's swift resolution, which features a shipwreck and miraculous rescue, retribution for the wicked, salvation for the good, and a homily on love and marriage. A smudgy parable of industrialization wrapped in a sappy love story, Hauser's new novel once again piggybacks off the achievements of a genius.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

popularity
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shortDescription

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...

sortTitle
Bakers Tale Ruby Spriggs and the Legacy of Charles Dickens
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subtitle
Ruby Spriggs and the Legacy of Charles Dickens
publisher
Catapult