Charlotte Brontë dedicated Jane Eyre to William Makepeace Thackeray, setting literary London ablaze with gossip. Ayn Rand dedicated Atlas Shrugged to both her husband and her lover. Sylvia Plath dedicated The Bell Jar to her friends. And F. Scott Fitzgerald dedicated The Great Gatsby to his wife, Zelda, the tumultuous love of his life.
The dedication of a novel is the most personal and public of gestures, and yet we don’t often stop to consider how it came to be inspired. This charming ‘behind the scenes’ book traces the relationships immortalized in the dedications to fifty novels that are an intrinsic part of literary and pop culture.
Sometimes tragic, often romantic, and always engaging, these are intimate glimpses into the lives of the writers we admire and the people they loved.