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'The Wedding'
Page Count
Word Count
Argosy (UK)
John O'London's Weekly
Publication Year
Document Types
Film & Television
Comic Fiction
First-Person Narratives
Character: Uncle Silas

In this second of many Uncle Silas tales, the young narrator recalls his family traveling by horse and trap to the wedding of Silas's only son Abel, nearly forty, to the nineteen-year-old Georgina.

The story shows seventy-year-old Silas — tipsy, randy, and in 'devilish splendour', singing a pub-song with the bride and kissing her 'with a loud smack'.

Bates would later explain that the story accurately related the wedding of Joseph Betts's only son: 'Such was the sharpness of the impression it all made on me that though it was a near quarter of a century before I put it down in a story called The Wedding the words practically wrote themselves (The Vanished World, p. 61).

Later, in the preface to My Uncle Silas, Bates would refer to the wedding as an event 'which my sister and I still remember as one of the golden days of our childhood.' The grandfather of the narrator directly reflects Bates's grandfather George Lucas in such passages as: 'Don't want to hear a lot o' popery and hymn-singing, do you?' and we stayed outside together, looking for nests in the churchyard yews and reading the names on the tombstones until the wedding was over.'

A television adaptation starring Albert Finney was aired in 2001.

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