Reade Research Interest

I am interested in looking at the factual backing to some of Reade’s most outlandish and melodramatic section. This would entail looking at notecards related to both the pirate incident, and the accounts of sane people being locked into asylums. I think the thing that I found most fascinating in Hard Cash was Reade’s balance of the realism and sensationalism. These two features were not fully integrated in the story–instead Reade jumped back and forth, from sections that are recognizably Victorian realism and sections that seem closer to soap opera than Villette. Yet Reade claims that the whole novel is a “matter of fact romance.” Reade’s use of factual evidence to support what seems so removed from reality makes the novel much more interesting (a word that seems much more weighted after reading Ngai). I would like to use the archive to examine the “factual evidence” that supports the melodrama, and to see how Reade organized these facts to create his sensational story.

The two notecards that I think would help me achieve this aim most would be 5 E.2 and Probabilia 1. I am sure there are many more notecards that could help me, but I am having some trouble deciphering the notecard names.