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The Uttermost Farthing

A Savant's Vendetta

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Author: R. Austin Freeman (Clifford Ashdown)
Published: 1914
Language: English
Wordcount: 54,694 / 158 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 75.5
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,879
Added to site: 2005.09.25 11652

It is not without some misgivings that I at length make public the strange history communicated to me by my lamented friend Humphrey Challoner. The outlook of the narrator is so evidently abnormal, his ethical standards are so remote from those ordinarily current, that the chronicle of his life and actions may not only fail to secure the sympathy of the reader but may even excite a certain amount of moral repulsion. But by those who knew him, his generosity to the poor, and especially to those who struggled against undeserved misfortune, will be an ample set-off to his severity and even ferocity towards the enemies of society.

Show Excerpt

ed hair; the only one, I may say, that I have ever seen."

"I have never seen a specimen before," said I, laying the little head down in its compartment, "nor," I added, "have I ever seen or heard of anything like these uncanny objects. Won't you tell me where you got them?"

"Not now," said Challoner. "You will learn all about them from the 'Archives,' and very interesting you will find them. And now we'll put them away." He placed the lids on the boxes, and, when I had stowed them away in the cupboard, he made me replace the panel and take a special note of the position of the fastenings for future use.

"Can you stay and have some dinner with me?" he asked, adding, "I am quite presentable at table, still, though I don't swallow very comfortably."

"Yes," I answered, "I will stay with pleasure; I am not officially back at work yet. Hanley is still in charge of my practice."

Accordingly we dined together, though, as far as he was concerned, the dinner was rather an empty ceremo

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.5 from 4 reviews: ****
CJ McClain

Freeman tells a great story. Although I enjoy his Thorndyke mysteries and find the characters and their adventures interesting I get a little tired of the "sameness" of the solutions.
This book is the story of a man that endures a terrible tragedy in the loss of his wife and spends the next 20 years pursuing her killer.Maybe he turns into a monster, maybe not. You decide


This reminded me of an Alfred Hitchcock episode. It is a bit disturbing, unlike his other works, but I enjoyed it as an audiobook from librivox.


Much more morbid than Freeman's other works. Story is told through the memoirs of the main character (who is deceased). Not a lot of emotion. No romance, no adventure, just a vendetta that needs to be fulfilled.


Longish right-wing fear-mongering about daily crime, I couldn't finish this. Very unlike most other Freeman stories.



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