If you enjoy 19th century irony as I do, you will enjoy The Ordeal of Richard Feverel (1859) immensely! This novel was a recent choice by the Yahoo 19th Century Lit group, and I don’t know why it isn’t more widely read by lovers of the classics because much of it is hilarious.
The ordeal that young Richard must endure is the System of Education devised for him by his father, Sir Austin Feverel. His plan is that the boy should grow up happy and self-confident by being secluded from all pernicious influences, especially school and females. He does not, to put it mildly, have very realistic ideas about his child, and he ‘s not a very good judge of character.
For Sir Austin has cast aside his faithless wife and is bringing up the boy himself, with only the companionship of some hangers-on at the Estate. There is a Cousin Austin Wentworth who disgraced the family name by marrying a housemaid, and a cynical Cousin Adrian Harley, an Epicurean who flunked out of Curate school and has been given a ‘stipendiary post’ at Sir Austin’s so that he can loaf about in a more respectable way.
For the rest of my review please visit http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/201...
but beware: there are some spoilers there.