Jump to content
Werthead

(Content warning) So it turns out that David Eddings was a convicted and jailed child abuser

Recommended Posts

And his wife too. Shit.

This isn't even a Marion Zimmer Bradley, allegations made after death kind of thing. They were arrested, put on trial and they both went to jail for a year in 1970 for imprisoning and torturing their adopted son. Both their adopted son and daughter were removed from their custody and their adoption papers revoked. Eddings lost his job working in academia in South Dakota and they were forced to relocate to another state, Eddings having to take a job working in a grocery store because he couldn't get another job teaching young people for love nor money (and probably legal requirements).

There is no suggestion of sexual abuse, but the details of the story are still pretty grim. They had a dog cage in their basement (where several animals lived) that they made their four-year-old adopted son sit in for hours and perhaps days at a time, and inflicted physical punishment on him with a belt and other implements. They were literally caught red-handed in the middle of beating him when the cops showed up and arrested them.

After becoming famous, Eddings joked that he left academia because the pay was better working in groceries. In the pre-Internet age the story never came up (in fact, they didn't even change their names, otherwise the story may have never come to light).

It should be noted you don't need to go burn your Eddings books: Leigh died in 2007, David in 2009 and all proceeds from their estate now go to Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

WTF

Big time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

God just about everyone I read up til about 10th grade is a child abuser/Nazi/Homophobe at this point. Like I’m just waiting to find out Terry Brooks eats puppies or something. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an interesting question about how we separate creators from their work. It helps, of course, that Eddings is no longer around, so you don't have to worry about giving him money, but is your enjoyment of the text (which hasn't changed) altered by knowing this?

There are arguments either way.

I myself cheerfully listen to Wagner, notwithstanding his personal issues, so this won't stop me reading Eddings in future, but I can understand people giving him a wide berth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Like I’m just waiting to find out Terry Brooks eats puppies or something. 

It wasn't a puppy. It was a puppy-shaped OLD ONE from the blackest pits of the fthngverse, emerging from its sharehouse with Ry'leh! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

It's an interesting question about how we separate creators from their work. It helps, of course, that Eddings is no longer around, so you don't have to worry about giving him money, but is your enjoyment of the text (which hasn't changed) altered by knowing this?

There are arguments either way.

I myself cheerfully listen to Wagner, notwithstanding his personal issues, so this won't stop me reading Eddings in future, but I can understand people giving him a wide berth.

He was alive when i bought my copies of his books, ick.

To your actual point, for me the answer is yes. I don’t think I would ever read anything by J.K. Rowling again now knowing the money is supporting a big old TERF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just thinking of Richard K Morgan actually. As for JKR I’m not sure what she says beyond the initial statement and frankly I’d rather not know til the film series is done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I was just thinking of Richard K Morgan actually. As for JKR I’m not sure what she says beyond the initial statement and frankly I’d rather not know til the film series is done.

The initial statement? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Werthead said:

And his wife too. Shit.

This isn't even a Marion Zimmer Bradley, allegations made after death kind of thing. They were arrested, put on trial and they both went to jail for a year in 1970 for imprisoning and torturing their adopted son. Both their adopted son and daughter were removed from their custody and their adoption papers revoked. Eddings lost his job working in academia in South Dakota and they were forced to relocate to another state, Eddings having to take a job working in a grocery store because he couldn't get another job teaching young people for love nor money (and probably legal requirements).

There is no suggestion of sexual abuse, but the details of the story are still pretty grim. They had a dog cage in their basement (where several animals lived) that they made their four-year-old adopted son sit in for hours and perhaps days at a time, and inflicted physical punishment on him with a belt and other implements. They were literally caught red-handed in the middle of beating him when the cops showed up and arrested them.

After becoming famous, Eddings joked that he left academia because the pay was better working in groceries. In the pre-Internet age the story never came up (in fact, they didn't even change their names, otherwise the story may have never come to light).

It should be noted you don't need to go burn your Eddings books: Leigh died in 2007, David in 2009 and all proceeds from their estate now go to Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

Bloody hell!

The only books I still own of theirs is the Belgariad/Mallorean. Will definitely colour a re-read, if I do another one. 

Surprised they never used pennames or that it never came out in the 2000’s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

It’s just kind of shocking if you’ve read the books and followed the author. They’re VERY I dunno...tame? 

There is a non sequitur sequence in the Elenium where one of the characters' sons talks back to him and he immediately takes his belt off and cows the child into submission.

If you read The Rivan Codex, Eddings makes a thing about how much more money they could make by making the books YA/kid-friendly, but this meant them not being able to put in more adult material, not because they didn't want to. Their money-grubbing attitude in that book is quite something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Werthead said:

There is a non sequitur sequence in the Elenium where one of the characters' sons talks back to him and he immediately takes his belt off and cows the child into submission.

If you read The Rivan Codex, Eddings makes a thing about how much more money they could make by making the books YA/kid-friendly, but this meant them not being able to put in more adult material, not because they didn't want to. Their money-grubbing attitude in that book is quite something.

Now, I don't approve of book-burning, but am currently strongly considering book-dumping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Werthead said:

 

If you read The Rivan Codex, Eddings makes a thing about how much more money they could make by making the books YA/kid-friendly, but this meant them not being able to put in more adult material, not because they didn't want to. Their money-grubbing attitude in that book is quite something.

He was always quite open that he started writing fantasy because he saw a copy of LOTR on something like its 30th edition and realised he could make lots of money out of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...