Reade Research Interests

Dear Rachel and Seminar,

I hope you all had lovely breaks, full of rest and the love affairs of the Dodds and Hardies! I think I actually started thinking in Reade’s writing style after a few days…

The parts of the book that interested me most were his treatment of women and religion. Julia was said many times to be cleverer than Edward, and studied his logic so that she could teach it to him. At the same time, Reade never brings up injustice about the fact that Edward can go to Oxford and Julia cannot. I’m wondering if any of the notecards talk about women and education. At any rate, I would like to see the notecards that talk about women (he said things like “she did that in her woman’s way” so many times that I feel like he might be quoting from something.)

I am especially interested in the character of Jane, who is not a prominent character at first but quickly becomes saintlike and then dies, and in death writes a letter that helps her brother (she probably would not have spoken against her father, if alive). The thesis says that Jane is an uncharacteristic Reade female. What is uncharacteristic about her? Really, I want to know how Reade feels about women. How did he treat women in his own life?

It seems to me that Reade had some form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, since he maniacally collected information in fear of missing some important fact. I wonder if he recognized this mental disorder in himself, and if that affected his deep interest in insane asylums. Is there any mention of OCD on the notecards?

It is difficult for me to pinpoint a specific notecard that I would prefer to look at over the others, since I don’t really understand the format of the archive. I hope that by telling the Princeton archive specialists what my interests are, they will be able to point me in the direction of notecards that would speak to those interests. Notecard 16 P.2 has information about Jane and the Maxleys (also fascinating), so I would like to look at that one.

So much to discuss in this book! Looking forward to our car ride tomorrow.