Dickens' Fur Coat and Charlotte's Unanswered Letters: The Rows and Romances of England's Great Victorian Novelists

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9780060984359: Dickens' Fur Coat and Charlotte's Unanswered Letters: The Rows and Romances of England's Great Victorian Novelists

Daniel Pool, author of the bestselling What Jane Ate and Charles Dickens Knew,  brilliantly turns his keen eye to England's great Victorian novelists themselves, to reveal the surprising private side of their human genius.From literary superstar Charles Dickens, whose domestic scandals were fodder for early gossip columnists to the shy, introverted Charlotte Bronte, who battled rumors about being Thackeray's mistress, Dickens' Fur Coat and Charlotte's Unanswered Letters is a delightful book for anyone has been caught in the spell of Jane Eyre, Great Expectations or Middlemarch--and longed to peer behind the heavy drapery of Victorian propriety at the private lives of these master storytellers as they battled their publishers and won the devotion of an avid reading public.

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Review:

With publishing empires swallowing smaller house for breakfast and agents swiping authors left, right, and center, the modern book industry might seem an insider's paradise, an aspiring author's nightmare, a reader's Goldberg contraption. Alas, according to Daniel Pool, 'twas ever thus. Money, advertising, publicity, blurbs, and the author's charisma were just as central to Victorian bookselling as they are now. Focusing particularly on Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Thackeray, the author builds up a portrait of cutthroat times and cutthroat measures. Readers will be particularly taken with the author's account of the rise of the serial novel--and Dickens's frustration with the form. (Something Flaubert quickly copped to. After finishing The Pickwick Papers, he commented to George Sand, "Some bits are magnificent, but what a defective structure.") And the quotations Daniel Pool presents, from the epigraphs to Virginia Woolf's assessment on the final page, make Dickens' Fur Coat essential social history.

About the Author:

Daniel Pool is the author of What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, and Christmas in New York. He lives in New York City.

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