Biopic to put Maxwell Perkins in starring role

By Laurie Bennett

September 24, 2010 at 7:48am

Early in his marriage, Maxwell Perkins told his wife Louise that he wanted to be “a little dwarf on the shoulder of a great general advising him what to do and what not to do, without anyone’s noticing.”

He was noticed.

Perkins was one of America’s great literary editors, launching F. Scott Fitzgerald’s career with The Great Gatsby, working night and day with Thomas Wolfe to turn an interminable manuscript into Look Homeward, Angel, fishing and hunting with Ernest Hemingway while helping him revise The Sun Also Rises and later masterpieces.

Maxwell Perkins
Maxwell Perkins

He worked at Scribners for 37 years. As he was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he would die in 1947, he instructed his daughter to retrieve two manuscripts from his bedside. One was Cry, the Beloved Country; the other was From Here to Eternity.

Five years later, Hemingway would dedicate The Old Man and the Sea to Perkins.

Perkins was revered by writers, in part because he knew his role. He didn’t aspire to be an author. He was an editor.

“An editor does not add to a book,” he once said. “At best he serves as a handmaiden to an author.”

His tale is about to become a movie, based on the 1978 biography by A. Scott Berg, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius. Sean Penn is reportedly in talks to star in the film.

Perkins was incredibly well-connected, not only through the literary world, but through his family and his years at Harvard.

His grandfather, William M. Evarts, was a U.S. senator, attorney general and secretary of state. His uncle, Archibald Cox, prosecuted the Watergate case until he was fired by President Nixon. A grandson, actor Perry King, has appeared in movies and on TV series such as Big Love, Spin City and Melrose Place.

Follow Muckety on Twitter Tweet This! Share on Facebook

Click here to sign up for the Muckety Newsletter

 Read related stories: Entertainment · Recent Stories  


Leave a Comment

The relationship map to the left is interactive.
• Solid lines are current relations. Dotted lines are former relations.
• Expand items with + signs by double-clicking or by selecting multiple items in the map and pressing the "e" key.
• Move an item in the map by clicking and dragging.
• You can also delete items, separate boxes and save maps. Right-click on the map or select Map Tools for these options.
• Find out more about an item in the map by right-clicking on the item and choosing Information about...
• View map color key.
• This interactive map requires Flash player.

  • The enormity of the U.S. Intelligence Community
    February 16, 2017 at 8:58am

    As it struggles to assemble a cabinet and to replace a national security adviser who has resigned and a labor secretary nominee who has withdrawn, the Trump administration takes on a new challenge: stanching leaks from U.S. intelligence.

    Immigration ban strains Trump relations with Silicon Valley
    January 30, 2017 at 9:06am

    Seven weeks ago, the president-elect made nice with the titans of tech, sitting down with them at Trump Tower and pledging government support.

    Coming together
    January 22, 2017 at 1:25pm

    From above, from the bird’s eye view of helicopters or satellites, the crowd was massive.

    The Davos elite
    January 19, 2017 at 8:22am

    The annual meeting in Davos brings together the elite of business and foreign relations - the supposed antithesis of Donald Trump’s views on governance.

    In a typical cabinet, Elaine Chao would be one of the richest
    January 12, 2017 at 8:37am

    When critics complain about the big-money nominees in Donald Trump’s cabinet, they focus on billionaire investor Wilbur Ross (Commerce), Amway in-law Betsy DeVos (Education), former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson (State) and Goldman Sachs alum Steve Mnuchin (Treasury).

    More stories →

Become a fan of Muckety on Facebook

  • Search for stories
    Special Features

Follow Muckety on Twitter Follow Muckety on Twitter
Muckety has no direct connection to most of the people or organizations listed on these pages.
We are unable to forward personal messages or provide personal contact information.
We make every effort at Muckety to ensure that our data is correct and timely. However, relationships are in constant flux and we cannot guarantee accuracy. If you come across incorrect or outdated information, please let us know by email.
© 2017 Muckety LLC