Synopses & Reviews
THE STRANGE AND VARIED LIVES OF THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD'S MOST BELOVED NOVELIST
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). Who those children were and what happened to them is the fascinating subject of Robert Gottliebs Great Expectations.
With sympathy and understanding, Gottlieb narrates the highly various and surprising stories of each of Dickenss sons and daughters, from Katey, who became a successful portraitist, to Frank, who died in Moline, Illinois, after serving a grim stretch in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and from Sydney, who joined the Royal Navy and was banned from Gads Hill for his ruinous behavior, and died at sea at the age of twenty-five, to Henry (“Sir Henry”), a prominent jurist and paterfamilias who lived to be eighty-four.
Each of these lives is fascinating on its own. Together they comprise a unique window into Victorian England as well as a moving and disturbing study of Dickens as a father and a man.
About the Author
Robert Gottlieb has been the editor in chief of Alfred A. Knopf and The New Yorker. He is the author of Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhard, George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker, and Lives and Letters (FSG, 2011), and is the dance critic for The New York Observer.