The Date of Composition of Ralph Rashleigh
It has generally been assumed that Ralph Rashleigh was composed in 1844 or 1845. Indeed, the introductory note to the manuscript, signed by 'a Squatter' and dated '31st Decr 1845,' would seem to compel us to accept that year as the latest possible one for the completed novel. Colin Roderick, in his introduction to the 1952 edition of the work, does nothing to dispel this assumption. There are, however, in the novel itself a number of references to time spans between the year of composition and certain historical occurrences of readily ascertained date which seem to indicate that the time of composition may have been roughly the year 1850, and not 1844 or 1845.
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