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9. CHAPTER IX - "CASTLE RICHMOND;" "BROWN, JONES, AND ROBINSON;" "NORTH AMERICA;" "ORLEY FARM" (continued)
Castle Richmond certainly was not a success,--though the plot is a fairly good plot, and is much more of a plot than I have generally been able to find. The scene is laid in Ireland, during the famine; and I am well aware now that English readers no longer like Irish stories. I cannot understand why it should be so, as the Irish character is peculiarly well fitted for romance. But Irish subjects generally have become distasteful. This novel, however, is of itself a weak production. The characters do not excite sympathy. The heroine has two lovers, one of whom is a scamp and the other a prig. As regards the scamp, the girl's mother is her own rival. Rivalry of the same nature has been admirably depicted by Thackeray in his Esmond; but there the mother's love seems to be justified by the girl's indifference. In Castle Richmond the mother strives to rob her daughter of the man's love. The girl herself has no character; and the mother, who is strong enough, is almost revolting. The dialogue is often lively, and some of the incidents are well told; but the story as a whole was a failure. I cannot remember, however, that it was roughly handled by the critics when it came out; and I much doubt whether anything so hard was said of it then as that which I have said here.
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