Thomas Hardy

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"A masterful portrait" (The Philadelphia Inquirer) from a Whitbread Award-winning biographer

The novels of Thomas Hardy have a permanent place on every booklover's shelf, yet little is known about the interior life of the man who wrote them. A believer and an unbeliever, a socialist and a snob, an unhappy husband and a desolate widower, Hardy challenged the sexual and religious conventions of his time in his novels and then abandoned fiction to reestablish himself as a great twentieth-century lyric poet. In this acclaimed new biography, Claire Tomalin, one of today's preeminent literary biographers, investigates this beloved writer and reveals a figure as rich and complex as his tremendous legacy.
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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 (London). Claire Tomalin lives in London and is married to the playwright Michael Frayn.
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Reviews

3.8
4 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Jan 18, 2007
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Pages
512
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ISBN
9781101201923
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Literary
Literary Collections / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Claire Tomalin
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.

Claire Tomalin
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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