The Cloister and the Hearth

By Charles Reade

Words from the achiever

“The books that I remember reading were all kinds. I first remember reading Tom Swift and His Giant Cannon, and other Tom Swift stories. Then The Rover Boys were very much a part of my generation. Then The Boys of 1776, a very inspirational story of the Revolutionary War. Then Hans and the Silver Hand, then Treasure Island, but particularly The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne, which was a glorious book.Then I remember Charles Reade’s The Cloister and the Hearth. I am still in love with the girl with the violet eyes he was passionate for. Also, Conrad made the deepest impression upon me. My sister was ill for a while and was threatened with the loss of her eyesight. So my mother used to read out loud to her and I would listen while she read various things from Conrad, and that made a deep impression on me. After that, I guess Dostoyevsky and other Russian novelists, and then Kafka, but those were later.”

About the book

Set in the 15th century, Chalrles Reade’s historical novel  tells the story of a young scribe and illuminator, Gerard Eliassoen, as he travels through several European countries and copes with the conflicting demands of family and church.  A favorite of the authors Thomas Wolf and Arthur Conan Doyle, The Cloister and the Hearth brings a vanished world to life, describing the events, people and practices of medieval life in minute detail.