This is a book about the imagining of two or more selves in one. It examines the belief in what was known to the nineteenth century as the duality of man, and deals with the double and with the variety of guises in which the double has appeared - the doppelganger, the alter ego or second self, and the modern multiple self.
Doubles vigorously and wittily tracks down the later stages of a preoccupation which has haunted the solitary self from antiquity to the novels of Martin Amis, and which can be recognised in many features of the mental life and literary culture of the present time. The book's subjects include Poe, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Stevenson, Conrad, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Robert Frost, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Norman Mailer and Saul Bellow.
'Karl Miller has brought off a notable double: he has written an academic book which deserves popular success.' Alan Massie