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Reade, Charles

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The admirable storyteller Charles Reade was born near Ipsden, Oxfordshire, on 8 June 1814, the eleventh and final child of John Reade and his wife Anna Maria (née Scott-Waring). He was educated at Oxford, served as Dean of Arts at Magdalen College and became Vice-President of Magdalen, a position he treated as a sinecure. Reade spent most of his career writing 40 plays that were produced in London and 14 novels, many of which treat the social injustices of his time. His best work is said to have been "The Cloister and the Hearth" (1861), an historical romance about the father of Erasmus. He had a long relationship with the actress Laura Seymour, who became his housekeeper in 1856 and died in 1879. Reade died in London on 11 April 1884 and was buried in Willesden churchyard, beside the remains of Laura Seymour. Most of Reade’s dramas suffer from an excess of theatrical effects. He became a member of the Garrick Club in 1839. (DNB).
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