New York : Harper & Row, 1978.
LibraryThing member SeriousGrace
The Mutual Friend is the story of Charles Dickens at the height of his fame and the end of his life. While on his book tour Dolby is his tour manager, friend, guardian and sounding board. It's Dolby who mostly reveals the drama in Dickens' life. The health-draining stress of the tour, his practically nonexistent marriage, troubling health issues, oppressive poverty, and faltering ego. But, not all of The Mutual Friend is told from Dolby's point of view. Probably the most disturbing chapter is that of Barbara, the maid. She starts out as a prostitute who prefers women. When Dickens looks for a Jewish maid, Barbara works her way into his household and seduces his son. Another chapter is told from the viewpoint of Dickens's wife. The demise of their marriage is sad and poignant.
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