Charles Dickens’ Bonfires Were Bigger Than Philip Roth’s

by evanmcmurry

Hillary Kelly nails it in The New Republic when she essentially argues that Philip Roth’s recent request that his journals and letters be destroyed after his death is no more than Roth begging loudly for them to be published. Along the way is this tidbit:

Charles Dickens understood how this works: He periodically built massive bonfires in his yard to destroy his private letters and journals.

Good lord, how big were those fires, and how long did they last? A rough draft of Bleak House could burn all night.