Great Expectations

Great Expectations

The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens

Book - 2012
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The strange and varied lives of the ten 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). 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.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374298807
Branch Call Number: B D555GO
Characteristics: 239 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Jan 31, 2015

Quite light, and no new information, but an enjoyable read.

bkilfoy Mar 28, 2013

A biography of Dickens' ten children is no easy task and Gottlieb creates a highly readable book. Dividing the book into the childrens' lives while Dickens was alive and after his death is an intriguing structure although providing their lifespans in both halves of the book rather than just the first would have made things a little clearer for me. The children themselves are interesting cast of characters with disparate lives in the army in India, Australian sheep stations, and as painters (among others). However, Gottlieb makes broad sweeping statements about the nature of each of the children without providing substantial enough evidence to keep some of them from rubbing me the wrong way. Additionally, the lack of any citations in text irritate me as well. An interesting introduction but not a thorough academic source for individuals interested in the Dickens children.


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