A retired New Jersey bank clerk inherits a bundle of letters from his great-grandfather - a bookseller in Victorian London who had corresponded at length with leading writers of his generation - Dickens, Thackeray, Eliot, Trollope, Butler and Hardy...Hall brings off an intriguing conceit convincingly in this series of letters (mostly emails) between Larry Dickerson, a retired bank worker, bent on getting as much money as he can for his great-grandfather's precious letters, and Stephen Nicholls, the patient, scholarly, and helpful head of Christie's manuscript department in London. While Nicholls leads Dickerson through the intricacies of the auction process, he also helps him enter into the Victorian mind, a domain Dickerson eventually embraces with enthusiasm. The result is a book that is part suspense novel, will he sell or won't he; part literary tour de force, because the old letters lead us into the thoughts of the foremost novelists of the period; and part picaresque tale, because of Dickerson's distinctly American personality. This is a book for lovers of Victorian literature.
About the Author
N. John Hall is Distinguished Professor at Bronx Community College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. Twice a Guggenheim Fellow and author of many books, he is considered one of the world's leading authorities on Trollope and Beerbohm.