Writers Between the Covers explores the scandalously licentious loves and lusts of history’s literary rock stars. Split into 7 parts, the chapters are introduced by trivia, quizzes, and even an online dating profile for Emily Dickinson.
-Tenneesee Williams claimed writing was his way of coping with his emotional issues and according to Gore Vidal, Williams “could not possess his own life until he had written about it.”
Not just a book of entertaining and wicked gossip, Writers Between the Covers connects the writer’s debauchery and romances with some of their greatest works. These episodes and manias shaped the authors as people and influenced the characters, stories and themes of the classic novels we all know and love. Charlotte Bronte turned down a marriage proposal even though she believed she wouldn’t receive any others. She refused to enter a passionless marriage for the sake of security and used the episode as inspiration for events in Jane Eyre. The chapter on Tolstoy explains the inspiration behind “Happy families are all alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in their own way.”
The stories offered illumination, entertainment and historical factoids such as when Agatha Christie mysteriously disappeared after her husband asked for a divorce, airplanes were used for the first time in a missing person search, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle enlisted the help a of psychic, and other authors got in on the action by writing articles for newspapers.
Not all the chapters focused on badly behaving authors. The relationships between Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf and their partners were full of concern, care and encouragement. The passionate, enduring love between the Barrett-Brownings and the Stevensons could warm the heart of even the most curmudgeonly cynic.
This is a great book for anyone who likes their scandals hot, their love enduring and their tabloids literary.
-Kingsley Amis’s wife wrote 1 fat Englishman. I fuck anything, on his back in lipstick while he napped poolside.