Charles Reade (1814-1884) was an English writer and journalist, most famous fo the historical novel 'The Cloister and the Hearth' first published in 1861. The sometimes pugnacious Reade researched extensively and wrote passionately on subjects of social significance.
'A Simpleton' is a novel written by Charles Reade at the last years of his life. He often was criticized for plagiarism and self-plagiariasm, although he strictly denied that, stating his later prose is not any worse than the works he wrote during his youth. It is a mysterious story of 'a girl spitting the blood and a surgeon ascribing it to the liver.