"HARD CASH," like "The Cloister and the Hearth," is a matter-of-fact Romance — that is, a fiction built on truths; and these truths have been gathered by long, severe, systematic labour, from a multitude of volumes, pamphlets, journals, reports, blue-books, manuscript narratives, letters, and living people, whom I have sought out, examined, and cross-examined, to get at the truth on each main topic I have striven to handle.
The madhouse scenes have been picked out by certain disinterested gentlemen, who keep private asylums, and periodicals to puff them; and have been met with bold denials of public facts, and with timid personalities, and a little easy cant about Sensation* Novelists; but in reality those passages have been written on the same system as the nautical, legal, and other scenes: the best evidence has been ransacked; and a large portion of this evidence I shall be happy to show at my house to any brother writer who is disinterested, and really cares enough for truth and humanity to walk or ride a mile in pursuit of them.
Charles Reade.*This slang term is not quite accurate as applied to me. Without sensation there can be no interest: but my plan is to mix a little character and a little philosophy with the sensational element.