Charles Reade was born in 1814 in England. He used his writings to attack the social injustices of his time. Before becoming a writer Reade studied for the bar and then sold violins. Christie Johnstone begins with the story of Lord Ipsden who has been disappointed in love. His doctor recommends he seek out the lower classes, so he can learn more about life and humanity. Ipsden travels to a Scottish fishing village where he meets Christie. The narrative twists and turns are typical of a Victorian novel. The action covers a drowning of a fisherman, a ship in distress and the huge haul of a load of herring. Christie, as heroine, is an attractive, intelligent highly moral young woman.