Charlotte's Row

 
9780140087734: Charlotte's Row

Bates's third novel features a cast of characters in a shoemaking street very similar to that experienced by Bates in Rushden: a young boy modeled after Bates's father, Albert Bates, (who started out in the shoe business at the age of ten) and through whom much of the novel is seen; an idle and and drunken shoemaker; a gentle, book and nature-loving socialist shopkeeper; a passionate and idealistic young woman; a hypocritical Baptist baker (see Bates's bake-house memories in Vanished World 69-70); and several wives, either abused and shrewish. A series of episodes depict poverty, hunger, violence, death, and hopelessness and, in doing so, address religious and economic issues and contrast urban and rural life.

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