What a great year for books about Charles Dickens! The 200th birthday of the author has seen the publication of some interesting biographies. The latest, Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens by Robert Gottlieb, hits the bookstores on November 27th.
Gottlieb’s book focuses on the lives of the ten children of Charles Dickens. (Yep, he had ten children.) It also touches on a possible child that Dickens had with his mistress, Ellen Ternan.
I haven’t read a review copy, but Publisher’s Weekly has. In their review of Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens PW says, “This smart and accessible biography is written in a clever, conversational tone that radiates coziness during even the coldest moments, keeping the pages swiftly turning. ”
Here’s what Amazon has to say about the book:
Charles Dickens, famous for the indelible child characters he created—from Little Nell to Oliver Twist and David Copperfield—was also the father of ten children (and a possible eleventh). What happened to those children is the fascinating subject of Robert Gottlieb’s Great Expectations. With sympathy and understanding he narrates the highly various and surprising stories of each of Dickens’s sons and daughters, from Kate, who became a successful artist, to Frank, who died in Moline, Illinois, after serving a grim stretch in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Each of these lives is fascinating on its own. Together they comprise a unique window on Victorian England as well as a moving and disturbing study of Dickens as a father and as a man.