Novelist Andrew Martin investigates the curious case of absent fathers in fiction. Far from being a repository of fatherly role models, English literature has preferred to do away with dads. If literary fathers survive the first chapter of a novel - which they often don't - their idea of quality time seems to be going off to kill foreigners or sailing round the world. Alternatively, they absent themselves mentally, brooding in their studies, conducting mysterious experiments and generally being keen on activities that can't possibly involve their children.
Surveying fathers in fiction from Austen and Dickens, via E Nesbit and the Just William stories, to the novels of Nick Hornby and Tony Parsons, Andrew Martin finds that literature says a great deal about the peculiar history of fatherhood over the past 200 years.
|Executive Producer||Michael Poole|