Benjamin Markovits: Childish Loves


The latest addition to my website is Benjamin MarkovitsChildish Loves, his third novel about Lord Byron. Unlike his previous two, this one mixes in (semi-)autobiographical details with Byron’s story, as we follow the story of an author/teacher called Benjamin Markovits, who receives the manuscripts of two novels about Byron, written by a former friend who had killed himself, which happen to have the same titles as the ones written by the real Benjamin Markovits. The fictional Markovits then decides to study Peter Sullivan, the dead author, to find out what you can learn about people from the books they write – how much is true. Sullivan had been forced to leave his previous school for an alleged homosexual encounter with a student (the charge was subsequently withdrawn) and Markovits the character is eager to see how this affected his views of and writing on Byron. The book is interesting for its study of the nature of truth, how we find it and how we recognise it but its prurient study of the lives of Byron and Sullivan tend to get somewhat boring. Benjamin Markovits was selected as one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists.

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