Richard Carvel: Memoir of Macaroni Era

Winston Churchill’s Richard Carvel purports to be the memoir of a colonial Marylander. It’s really a formula romance decked in the manners and fashions of the 18th century “macaronis.”

Richard lives with his grandfather, a devout Tory, but imbibes the rebellious spirit growing in the colonies. He also falls for the girl next door. Dorothy’s father whisks the family “home” to London hoping the girl’s looks will win her a rich, titled husband.

Richard’s devious, greedy Uncle Grafton has him kidnapped and sold to a slaver. Richard meets a ex-patriot Scot and accompanies him to London. The two make friends of politicians who later will plead the American cause in Parliament.

When the colonies declare independence, Richard goes to sea under his pal John Paul Jones.

Richard wins fame, fortune, and fair lady.

Churchill tells only those things that Richard was likely to note. His singlemindedness would be welcome if the characters and plot were not stock items from the romance shelf.

Three days after you close the cover, you’ll have forgotten Richard Carvel entirely.

Richard Carvel
by Winston Churchill
Illus. Carlton T. Chapman and Malcolm Fraser
Macmillan, 1899
538 pages
1900 bestseller #8
Project Gutenberg Ebook #5373
My grade: C

© 2013 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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