Story of a Buccaneer.’ In 1849 he joined the staff of ‘Punch.’ In 1850 he visited France in connection with an inquiry by the ‘Morning Chronicle’ into the state of labour and the poor in England and Europe. As special commissioner he wrote letters to that paper on the vineyards of France, republished in book form as ‘Claret and Olives’ (1852), and also reported on the manufacturing and coal districts of the north of England. For many years he was musical and art critic, as well as principal reviewer, for the ‘Morning Chronicle.’ He was also London correspondent of the ‘Glasgow Citizen,’ and from the date of his father's death in 1853 he acted as London correspondent of the ‘Inverness Courier.’ Reach was author of ‘The Comic Bradshaw, or Bubbles from the Boiler’ (1848), and many amusing miscellanies and dramatic farces, and, with Albert Smith, he conducted ‘The Man in the Moon,’ a serial which had a large sale (5 vols. 1847–9). In 1854 his health failed, and a grant of 100l. was obtained for him from the Royal Bounty Fund. The Fielding Club played a burlesque for his benefit, in which Yates and Albert Smith appeared, stalls selling for 10l. He died on 25 Nov. 1856, and was buried in Norwood cemetery. For a year before his intimate friend, Shirley Brooks, undertook Reach's work for him on the ‘Morning Chronicle,’ Reach drawing his usual salary. Sala wrote of Reach: ‘He was one of the most laborious and prolific writers I have ever met with. It was no uncommon thing for him to work sixteen hours a day.’
Besides the works noticed, Reach wrote:
- ‘The Natural History of Bores,’ London, 1847, 32mo.
- ‘The Natural History of Humbugs,’ London, 1847, 12mo.
- ‘The Natural History of Tuft-Hunters and Toadies,’ London, 1848, 12mo.
- ‘The Natural History of the “Hawk” Tribe,’ London, 1848, 12mo.
- ‘A Romance of a Mince Pie, an Incident in the Life of John Chirrup of Forty Winks,’ London, 1848, 32mo.
- (With Shirley Brooks) ‘A Story with a Vengeance; or, How many Joints go to a Tale?’ London, 1852, 8vo.
- ‘Men of the Hour,’ London, 1856, 12mo.
- (With J. Hannay and Albert Smith) ‘Christmas Cheer,’ London, 1856, 12mo.
- (With Albert Smith and others) ‘Sketches of London Life and Character,’ London, 1858, 12mo.
The name Reach is pronounced Re-ach (dissyllable).
[Allibone's Dictionary; Athenæum, 29 Nov. 1856; Inverness Courier, 4 Dec. 1856; Dr. C. Mackay's Forty Years' Recollections, i. 143–57; Spielmann's History of Punch, 1895; Sala's Life and Adventures.]
READ, CATHERINE (d. 1778), portrait-painter, was for some years a fashionable artist in London, working in oils, crayons, and miniature. From 1760 she exhibited almost annually with either the Society of Artists, the Free Society, or the Royal Academy, sending chiefly portraits of ladies and children of the aristocracy, which she painted with much grace and refinement. In 1763 she exhibited a portrait of Queen Charlotte with the infant Prince of Wales, and in 1765 one of the latter with his brother, Prince Frederick. Miss Read resided in St. James's Place until 1766, when she removed to Jermyn Street. In 1771 she paid a brief visit to India with her niece, Helena Beatson, a clever young artist, who there married, in 1777, (Sir) Charles Oakeley, bart. [q. v.], governor of Madras. On resuming her practice, Miss Read settled in Welbeck Street. Many of her portraits were well engraved by Valentine Green and James Watson, and a pair of plates, by J. Finlayson, of the celebrated Gunning sisters, the Duchess of Argyll and the Countess of Coventry, have always been popular. She died on 15 Dec. 1778.
[Edwards's Anecdotes of Painters, 1808; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Cat. of National Portrait Exhibition, 1867; Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits.]
READ, CHARLES ANDERSON (1841–1878), miscellaneous writer, born at Kilsella House, near Sligo, was son of a gentleman who, after losing a competency, became a schoolmaster and settled at Hilltown, near Newry. Charles was apprenticed to a merchant of Rathfriland, subsequently becoming partner in and eventually proprietor of the firm; but the venture failed about 1863, and Read obtained an appointment in the London publishing office of James Henderson. To Henderson's journal, ‘Young Folks,’ he contributed stories from the classics and several successful serial stories, two of which, ‘Aileen Aroon’ and ‘Savourneen Dheelish,’ were afterwards printed separately. He also wrote for the ‘Dublin University Magazine,’ and produced some passable verse. Deeply interested in Irish literature, he spent several years in the preparation of his best known work, ‘The Cabinet of Irish Literature,’ which was published between 1876 and 1878, in four volumes. The last volume was completed by Mr. T. P. O'Connor. It comprises selections from the writings of the most prominent Irish authors, from the earliest times to the date of publication.