Paper and Rags

Author: Morgan Wade

Title: Paper and Rags

ISBN: 978-1-927725-89-4 = 9781927725894

Trade Paperback: 452 pages – 6 X 9 

Suggested Retail (Paperback): $26.95

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Paper and Rags tells the tale of Jeremy Castor, a young man from Cornwall, England, forced by a press gang into the Royal Navy.  As the War of 1812 comes to an end, he is cast adrift amid the unforgiving turmoil of frontier Kingston.  To survive, he must navigate a society that is rough yet highly structured.  The town suffers a painful recession and political reform simmers.  Despite a paper shortage, broadsheets proliferate.  Class warfare is waged daily in their pages. Jeremy manages to get into the good graces of an ambitious deacon, a lion of the establishment, but it’s unclear how long his benefaction will last.

Along the way, Jeremy meets three strong, beguiling women.  Lilac Evans strives to escape her indenture to an abusive tailor by practicing medicine on the sly.  Amelia Spafford, widowed from an enforced marriage to a colonel many decades her senior, vies to preserve her inherited estate from lotharios and swindlers.  Lenore, wife of absent Major Stokes, wishes for a child and fights her loneliness by seeking chance meetings with Jeremy.  As they struggle to find meaning and sustenance, the four become entwined with the mysterious Creedence Scriven, a wealthy doctor.  Scriven hides a shameful secret.  In the end, he and the others must sacrifice their very clothing to make the paper that will see their truth in print.  Still, the discovery of Scriven’s secret and its publishing in the local Gazette changes all of their lives forever.


“In, Paper and Rags, the excellent sequel to Morgan Wade’s previous novel, Bottle and Glass, Wade zeroes in, with razor-sharp focus, on Kingston’s historical past, creating memorable characters in a story rich with wit and compassion.”

Helen Humphreys
award-winning, best-selling novelist,
author of The Evening Chorus,
Afterimage, and Coventry.

“A delightful picaresque, with a Dickensian cast of characters that rouse into life the ragtag world of a new Canadian town.”

Merilyn Simonds
author of eighteen books,
including the creative nonfiction classic, The Convict Lover,
a finalist for the Governor General’s Award.

“With his impeccable research and rich imagination, Wade transports the reader via literary time machine back to the seedy beginnings of colonial Upper Canada in the early 19th century. A binge-worthy story with an unforgettable cast of characters!”

Brett Christopher
award-winning actor and director,
Managing Artistic Director of
Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, Ontario.