One of the first biographies I read about Charles Dickens was The Invisible Woman by Claire Tomalin. The book focuses on Dickens’ affair with the actress Ellen Ternan.
Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan met in 1857; she was 18, a hard-working actress performing in his production of The Frozen Deep, and he was 45, the most lionized writer in England. Out of their meeting came a love affair that lasted thirteen years and destroyed Dickens’s marriage while effacing Nelly Ternan from the public record.
In this remarkable work of biography and scholarly reconstruction, the acclaimed biographer of Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Pepys and Jane Austen rescues Nelly from the shadows of history, not only returning the neglected actress to her rightful place, but also providing a compelling portrait of the great Victorian novelist himself. The result is a thrilling literary detective story and a deeply compassionate work that encompasses all those women who were exiled from the warm, well-lighted parlors of Victorian England.
At the end of this month another horror rewrite of classic literature will hit the bookstores. Grave Expectations by Sherri Browning Erwin and Charles Dickens will show us Pip and Estella as we’ve never seen them before.
Per Amazon’s website, “Bristly, sensitive, and meat-hungry Pip is a robust young whelp, an orphan born under a full moon. Between hunting escaped convicts alongside zombified soldiers, trying not to become one of the hunted himself, and hiding his hairy hands from the supernaturally beautiful and haughty Estella, whose devilish moods keep him chomping at the bit, Pip is sure he will die penniless or a convict like the rest of his commonly uncommon kind.”
Lost – Season Two, just like all the other seasons, is filled with so many literary allusions that it’s hard to keep track. In this season:
Ben makes his first appearance claiming to be Henry Gale. The name is from Dorothy’s uncle in the Wizard of Oz series by L. Frank Baum. Interestingly enough the last name of Gale is not used in the most famous book in the series, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
In a major plot point, an orientation video (located on a shelf behind The Turn of the Screw by Henry James) reveals much about the hatch and the Dharma Initiative.