By Lesley Krueger
A riveting tale of expertise and the fee it exacts, set in a richly imagined Victorian England
Called the main promising artist of his new release, good-looking, modest, and affectionate, Richard Dadd rubbed shoulders with the nice luminaries of the Victorian Age. He grew up alongside the Medway with Charles Dickens and studied on the Royal Academy colleges less than the bright and whimsical J.M.W. Turner.
Based on Dadd’s tragic real tale, Mad Richard follows the younger artist as he develops his craft, contemplates the character of artwork and reputation — as he watches Dickens navigate these tough waters — and eventually unearths himself imprisoned in Bedlam for homicide, devoted as criminally insane.
In 1853, Charlotte Brontë — approximately to submit her 3rd novel, being affected by unrequited love, and herself wrestling with questions on paintings and artists, category, obsession and romance — visits Richard at Bedlam and reveals an unforeseen kinship in his feverish brain and his haunting work.
Masterfully slipping via time and reminiscence, Mad Richard maps the inventive temperaments of Charlotte and Richard, weaving their divergent lives including their shared fears and follies, goals, and crushing illusions.