Jane Austen: A Life

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At her death in 1817, Jane Austen left the world six of the most beloved novels written in English—but her shortsighted family destroyed the bulk of her letters; and if she kept any diaries, they did not survive her.  Now acclaimed biographer Claire Tomalin, author of A Life of My Own, has filled the gaps in the record, creating a remarkably fresh and convincing portrait of the woman and the writer. 

While most Austen biographers have accepted the assertion of Jane's brother Henry that "My dear Sister's life was not a life of events," Tomalin shows that, on the contrary, Austen's brief life was fraught with upheaval.  Tomalin provides detailed and absorbing accounts of Austen's ill-fated love for a young Irishman, her frequent travels and extended visits to London, her close friendship with a worldly cousin whose French husband met his death on the guillotine, her brothers' naval service in the Napoleonic wars and in the colonies, and thus shatters the myth of Jane Austen as a sheltered and homebound spinster whose knowledge of the world was limited to the view from a Hampshire village. 
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About the author

Claire Tomalin is the author of eight highly acclaimed biographies, including Thomas Hardy and Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, which won the 2002 Whitbread Book of the Year Award. She has previously won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Hawthornden Prize, the NCR Book Award for Non-Fiction, and the Whitbread Biography Award. Educated at Cambridge University, she served as literary editor of the New Statesman and The Sunday Times. Claire Tomalin lives in London and is married to the playwright Michael Frayn.
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Published on
Dec 18, 2007
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Biography & Autobiography / Literary
Biography & Autobiography / Women
History / Europe / Great Britain / General
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Eligible for Family Library

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La tumultuosa vida del mejor novelista inglés, maravillosamente escrita por la gran biógrafa Claire Tomalin. Con grabados, tres cuadernillos de fotos y mapas de la época.

Como cualquiera de sus héroes de novela Charles Dickens sufrió hasta la saciedad. Nacido en una modesta familia de clase media, su vida dio un vuelco cuando encarcelaron a su padre y tuvo que ponerse a trabajar en una fábrica. Este hecho le sirvió para agudizar su visión de lo absurdo, de lo trágico de la vida en Londres. Periodista incisivo, padre de diez hijos, incansable paseante y viajero, defensor de las libertades sociales y por encima de todo... novelista, Charles Dickens fue un genio. .

La prosa novelística de la biógrafa Claire Tomalin, profusamente documentada, nos ofrece en Charles Dickens el retrato de un escritor heroico y virtuoso, un hombre al mismo tiempo contradictorio y ruin en el bicentenario de su nacimiento.

«Este libro es una biografía magnífica sobre un gran escritor...»
William Boyd, The Observer

«Perfecta en cada uno de los detalles históricos y perspicaz en las novelas, la magistral biografía de Claire Tomalin es enormemente valiosa por la visión que nos da del hombre más que del escritor.»
The Guardian

The Telegraph

«La cantidad de premios que tiene dan fe de su habilidad no sólo para retratar vidas sino también para hacer que los autores sobre los que habla cobren vida.»
The Literary Review

The Times

«Claire Tomalin tiene la rara habilidad de entretejer la capacidad de contar con la rigurosidad. Como biógrafa es inimitable.»
The Independent

«Compré este libro porque soy una seguidora incondicional de Dickens y este libro ofrece todo lo que una buena biografía debe contener.»
Julia L. Simpsonurrutia, Amazon

«Si nunca has leído nada sobre Dickens esta obra es la mejor manera de empezar.»
Curtcon, Amazon

«Desde el primer momento pensé que éste iba a ser un buen libro, bien documentado. No quería que terminase el libro porque me sentía muy unida a él, a su familia y a su historia. ¡Qué hombre tan extraordinario!»
C. M. Mills, Amazon

***Mejor biografía según The Galaxy Awards 2011

The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft is the acclaimed bestselling biography by Claire Tomalin

Winner of the Whitbread First Book Prize

Witty, courageous and unconventional, Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the most controversial figures of her day. She published A Vindication of the Rights of Women; travelled to revolutionary France and lived through the Terror and the destruction of the incipient French feminist movement; produced an illegitimate daughter; and married William Godwin before dying in childbed at the age of thirty-eight. Often embattled and bitterly disappointed, she never gave up her radical ideas or her belief that courage and honesty would triumph over convention.

'Tomalin is a most intelligent and sympathetic biographer, aware of her impetuous subject's many failings, yet with the perception to present her greatness fairly. She writes well and wittily' Daily Telegraph

'A vivid evocation not only of what Mary went through but also of how women lived in the second part of the eighteenth century. Most of all, however, Tomalin makes Mary Wollstonecraft unforgettable' Evening Standard

From the acclaimed author of Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, Charles Dickens: A Life and The Invisible Woman, this celebrated biography is the definitive account of Mary Wollstonecraft's life.

Claire Tomalin is the award-winning author of eight highly acclaimed biographies, including: The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft; Shelley and His World; Katherine Mansfield: A Secret Life; The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens; Mrs Jordan's Profession; Jane Austen: A Life; Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self; Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man and, most recently, Charles Dickens: A Life. A former literary editor of the New Statesman and the Sunday Times, she is married to the playwright and novelist Michael Frayn.

Esteemed biographer and legendary literary editor Claire Tomalin's stunning memoir of a life in literature

In A Life of My Own, the renowned biographer of Charles Dickens, Samuel Pepys, and Thomas Hardy, and former literary editor for the Sunday Times reflects on a remarkable life surrounded by writers and books. From discovering books as a form of escapism during her parents' difficult divorce, to pursuing poetry at Cambridge, where she meets and marries Nicholas Tomalin, the ambitious and striving journalist, Tomalin always steered herself towards a passionate involvement with art. She relives the glittering London literary scene of the 1960s, during which Tomalin endured her husband's constant philandering and numerous affairs, and revisits the satisfaction of being commissioned to write her first book, a biography of the early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. In biography, she found her vocation. However, when Nick is killed in 1973 while reporting in Israel, the mother of four put aside her writing to assume the position of literary editor of the New Statesman. Her career soared when she later moved to the Sunday Times, and she tells with dazzling candor of this time in her life spent working alongside the literary lights of 1970s London. But, the pain of her young daughter's suicide and the challenges of caring for her disabled son as a single mother test Claire's strength and persistence. It is not until later in life that she is able to return to what gave her such purpose decades ago, writing biographies, and finds enduring love with her now-husband, playwright Michael Frayn.

Marked by honesty, humility, and grace, rendered in the most elegant of prose, A Life of My Own is a portrait of a life, replete with joy and heartbreak. With quiet insight and unsparing clarity, Tomalin writes autobiography at its most luminous, delivering an astonishing and emotionally-taut masterpiece distinguished by the deep and hard-won wisdom of devastating loss but even more extraordinary love.
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