Charles Dickens and Blackadder mixed in the wittiest of ways, that was my main impression as I flew through the pages of this engaging novel, taken to the 19th century English countryside, into a lovely town, transferred to their way of thinking and talking, their ways of making their living and entertain themselves.
Ralph Chatterforth's life is not a boring affair, to say the least. From the childhood and the strict discipline of Victorian boys' school to the manhood and later years, he is going with the flow, because this might be the easiest way for him to proceed, as it seems. It is convenient, so he stands for no special principles, pursuing no special goals. Instead his friends, like Thomas (a characters I admit to truly like, whether because of him being this sort of a bad boy, or dispite of it) are taking the lead of Ralph's life, carrying him into all sorts of interesting, not always for the best, situations.
I found the adventures and tribulations of Ralph Chatterforth highly entertaining, while allowing me a clear look into Victorian England and its various social levels. The ring of the story was so true, the language so authentic and yet not difficult to understand at all, their dialog and the way of thinking different but entertaining even more so because of it.
Historical novel in its best! Highly recommended