For authors whining about the hardship of book tours, I don't just give them Dickens; I throw him in their faces. The man traveled the length and breadth of England, and all over the U.S. too, giving lectures and readings from his books. And author events 150 years ago weren't your cozy, carpeted B&N affair with 20-minute reading, 15-minute audience Q&A and 20-minute book signing.
Noooo...Dickens did dramatic, hours-long readings, in halls packed to the rafters--night after night, year after year. In fact, his relentless touring and performance schedule probably contributed to his death at age 58.
Consider this tidbit from a fascinating article in yesterday's NYT, On the Trail of Brooklyn's Underground Railroad:
Dickens "read A Christmas Carol to capacity crowds for three nights running in 1868" at Henry Ward Beecher's Plymouth Church.Imagine doing that with individual voices for the novel's many characters--without amplification--for ONE night, let alone three. Then try and feel sorry for yourself when you're on a panel at a book festival, or do a bookstore signing.
Can't muster any self-pity? Eager to put more oomph into your presentations? Good; my job is done.