Cloister and the Hearth

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Erasmus (c. 1466—1536) humanist scholar and reformer


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A novel by C. Reade, published 1861.

The story is set in the 15th cent. Gerard, the son of a mercer living in Tergou in Holland, is destined to enter the Church, but falls in love with Margaret Brand. Family opposition forces him to leave Margaret and flee Holland; in Italy he hears a false report of Margaret's death, and, after a period of reckless dissolution, he becomes a Dominican monk. Eventually he returns to Holland, where he finds Margaret has borne him a son: he returns to her and is accepted as vicar of Gouda. The son, the conclusion indicates, is to be Erasmus. The novel arose from Reade's discovery of the story of Erasmus' father, an obscure cleric.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Charles Reade (1814—1884) novelist and playwright