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Charles Reginald Jackson (Charles R. Jackson)

novelist , writer , author

Charles Reginald Jackson was an American author, widely known for his 1944 novel "The Lost Weekend".

Background

Jackson, Charles was born in 1903. He moved to Newark, New York in 1907, and nine years later his older sister, Thelma, and younger brother, Richard, were killed while riding in a car that was struck by an express train.

Education

He graduated from Newark High School in 1921.

He attended Syracuse University, joining a fraternity there, but left during his freshman year after a "furtive sexual encounter with a fellow member of his fraternity, who then spread word of the incident in such a way that only Jackson came in for public disgrace"; a fictionalized version of that experience was later incorporated into "The Lost Weekend".

Career

As a young man he worked as an editor for local newspapers and in various bookstores in Chicago and New York prior to falling ill with tuberculosis. Jackson spent the years 1927-1931 in sanatoriums and eventually recovered in Davos, Switzerland. His successful battle cost him a lung and served as a catalyst for his alcoholism.

He returned to New York at the height of the Great Depression and his difficulty in finding work spurred on his binge drinking. His battle to stop drinking started in late 1936 and was largely won by 1938, the year in which he married. During this time he was a free-lance writer and wrote radio scripts. Jackson's first published story, "Palm Sunday", appeared in the Partisan Review in 1939.



In the 1940s, Jackson wrote a trio of novels, beginning with "The Lost Weekend" published by Farrar & Rinehart in 1944. The 1944 publication of "The Lost Weekend" catapulted his career toward success. He moved briefly to Hollywood in the Summer of 1944 and shortly thereafter to New Hampshire with his growing family, including his two young girls. He lived on and off at his home in New Hampshire for ten years. At the height of his career, Charles R. Jackson lectured at various colleges. In the mid-1950s he began struggling with finances and moved with his family to Connecticut.



Jackson's second published novel of the 1940s, titled "The Fall of Valor", was released in 1946 and takes its name from a passage in Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick".

Connections

Children: Sarah Blann, Kate Winthrop.

father:
Frederick George Jackson

mother:
Sarah Williams Jackson

Wife:
Rhoda Copland Booth

Daughter:
Sarah Blann

Daughter:
Kate Winthrop

older sister:
Thelma

In 1916 she was killed while riding in a car that was struck by an express train.

younger brother:
Richard

In 1916 he was killed while riding in a car that was struck by an express train.