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The Mudlark

by Theodore Bonnet

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633424,058 (3.7)5

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This is not a true story, or even based on a true story. A young lad was, during Queen Victoria's reign, discovered in Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria was not there, she was in Windsor Castle at the time. The boy was arrested, not convicted of theft and was released.

This book is a fictional story, using real people as characters, to portray the Queen's reentry into public life after being in mourning for her husband for many years. This was triggered with the event of a fictional lad, Wheeler, being curious about the Queen, whom he was told was the Mother of England, and entering through a series of accidental openings the dining room in Windsor Castle where the Queen was dining with Disraeli, her Prime Minister.

The boy, Wheeler, actually has a small role in the book. There is a lot of discussion about England at the time. The climax comes with Disraeli's speech in Parliament and the Queen's realization that her people needed her. In the end you see that young Wheeler never stops being curious about things.

The book is charming, but not engrossing. ( )
  mysterymax | Aug 23, 2014 |
a wee strange
3 stories in one
1.very brief glimpse of the real kid who got into windsor castle
2.disraeli in his lonely old age and politician
3.a lady in waiting and her lover ( )
  mahallett | Aug 31, 2010 |
"The Mudlark" Plus. (Three very different books featuring boys.) Theodore Bonnet's novel, "The Mudlark," has as its core the true story of Wheeler, an urchin whose "invasion" of Winsor Castle is a footnote to British history. Written in 1947, this adult novel includes politics and romance, both upstairs and down. A movie version starring Alec Guiness as Disraeli is faithful to the book. (The film reappears from time to time. A lovely children's picture book credited to Geoff Dunham can only be found by searching.) Felice Holman's 1974 "Slake's Limbo" is called a "juvenile novel." More thought provoking (and better written) than many adult books it is a gem. Slake, 13 years old, lives underground in the NY subway system tunnel for 121 days. Contemporary reports about homeless children bear witness to this account. Henry Roth is known for "Call It Sleep," a powerful and complex novel. His boy, David, is neither homeless or alone, but he is a child lacking stability. Tho his immigrant moher loves him both she and David live in fear of violence from father/husband Albert. David, seen in the book from 6-8, is a remarkable chid in a bewildering environment. ALL 3 OF THESE BOOKS MERIT YOU ATTENTION!! ( )
  Esta1923 | Jul 24, 2007 |
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Charming story of life in Victorian England where an abandoned orphan boy of 7 who is a Mudlark scavenging bits and pieces in the low tide mud along the Thames. He gets an idea to walk 20 miles to Windsor Castle to see Queen Victoria who is secluded in mourning 20-some years after her husband's death. His appearance in the Castle eventually motivates her to resume seeing the English people.
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