I began this blog to track and share the research I’m doing for my fictional biographies of famous families.
I wrote the manuscript for my novel SANDWALK, about Charles Darwin’s family life running up to the publication of On the Origin of the Species, after learning that Charles Darwin’s wife was a believer. That fact suggested that the religion/science debate still raging today was going on in the household, and I was curious to discover how these two handled it. But was I a biology major? No. I went to high school in the ’60’s, one of the first generation to read Darwin’s theory in public school textbooks. I also went to church on a regular basis. Writing the book gave me an opportunity to figure out where I thought the two conjoined or if one eliminated the other. But SANDWALK is a novel. As Anton Chekhov said in a letter to Alexei Suvorin in 1888, “You are right in demanding that an artist approach his work consciously, but you are confusing two concepts: the solution of a problem and the correct formulation of a problem. Only the second is required of the artist. ”
I wished, at the end of my process that I had tracked my thinking as I explored the material. As I began another novel, this one about Einstein’s first marriage, so far untitled, I decided to take myself up on that.
Herein you will find my musings, about Einstein, about his wife, Mileva Maric, about the three children they had together.
Why my interest in families? Because I believe it is the fundamental societal unit. More likely because I miss mine greatly. I have a loving husband and two amazing sons, (Be safe!), but my mother, the last of my original family of five, died in 2004.
Perhaps my characters are their substitutes.