Charles Dickens’ great disappointments

One day, Robert Gottlieb picked up a one-volume collection of letters by one of his favorite writers, Charles Dickens, in a used bookstore. Reading it, he was struck by just how much of Dickens’ correspondence concerned his 10 children: Charley, Mamie, Katey, Walter, Frank, Alfred, Sydney, Henry, Dora (who died in infancy) and Plorn (Edward). The novelist spent so much time worrying about and trying to establish the futures of his sons and daughters that Gottlieb couldn’t help wondering how they’d all turned out.Gottlieb’s storied career as editor in chief of Simon & Schuster and Alfred A. Knopf, as well as a five-year stint as editor in chief of the New Yorker, has provided him with plenty of firsthand experience in the foibles of literary greats. (He discovered and edited Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22″ and has edited the work of such authors as John Cheever, Toni Morrison, John le Carré, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Caro, Barbara Tuchman and Bill Clinton.) Late in life, he launched a second career as a writer, contributing long critical essays to the New York Review of Books and the New Yorker, as well as penning biographies of Sarah Bernhardt and George Balanchine. Deciding that the lives of the Dickens children merited further investigation, he followed his usual method of absorbing all available writings on the topic. An irresistibly readable new book, “Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens,” is the result.Continue Reading…

Original source:  

Charles Dickens’ great disappointments

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts


%d bloggers like this: