Writers Between the Covers: The Scandalous Romantic Lives of Legendary Literary Casanovas, Coquettes, and Cads
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What happened off the page was often a lot spicier than what was written on it...
Why did Norman Mailer stab his second wife at a party? Who was Edith Wharton’s secret transatlantic lover? What motivated Anaïs Nin to become a bigamist?
Writers Between the Covers rips the sheets off these and other real-life love stories of the literati—some with fairy tale endings and others that resulted in break-ups, breakdowns, and brawls. Among the writers laid bare are Agatha Christie, who sparked the largest-ever manhunt in England as her marriage fell apart; Arthur Miller, whose jaw-dropping pairing with Marilyn Monroe proved that opposites attract, at least initially; and T.S. Eliot, who slept in a deckchair on his disastrous honeymoon.
From the best break-up letters to the stormiest love triangles to the boldest cougars and cradle-robbers, this fun and accessible volume—packed with lists, quizzes and in-depth exposés—reveals literary history’s most titillating loves, lusts, and longings.
her writing along with some unintended notoriety. When she became pregnant following five years of childless marriage, a well-known gossip columnist printed a story suggesting Cousin was the father. Outraged, Louise paid a visit to the reporter’s home and unsuccessfully attempted to stab him with a kitchen knife. Famously reclusive, Flaubert kept himself at arm’s length from his lover and her theatrics. At his urging, their affair was conducted primarily through correspondence, with only
Kenya, the day after Karen arrived from Denmark to join him in the exotic land where they had chosen to settle. One of the few guests in attendance at their January 1914 nuptials was Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, who offered a champagne toast during the wedding supper aboard a train bound for Nairobi. The newlyweds were headed to their new abode, a coffee farm situated outside the city at the foot of the Ngong Hills, where Karen immediately felt at home. The couple honeymooned on safari, during
separating from his long-suffering wife, he often kept his whereabouts unknown while traveling to remote love nests for hookups with an actress half his age. “All London . . . had for some time been rife with legends concerning Dickens and an actress, with whom it was at last affirmed that [he] had eloped to Boulogne,” the New York Times reported in June 1858. Although Enquirer-style revelations of an elopement turned out to be false, gossip continued to swirl around the writer following the
sent word to Anna to join him. They married immediately, the bride donning a plum-colored silk dress and the groom a suit he had stashed in his decoy sailor’s bag. The newlyweds headed to the coastal town of New Bedford, Massachusetts, a safer destination than Manhattan, where slave catchers were out in full force, looking to cash in on rewards offered for runaways. Having shed his given surname, Bailey, to help evade capture, the fugitive chose the moniker Douglass, inspired by a character in
smothered the troubled writer, but Virginia herself acknowledged that the security and encouragement he provided enabled her creativity to flourish. Each time she completed a novel, she would give the first draft to Leonard and anxiously await his validation. He nurtured and advanced her talent and, despite being a writer in his own right, it was as her editor that he made his mark. While he continued to publish works of nonfiction throughout their marriage, he ceased writing fiction after the