Books

Jane Austen

Claire Tomalin

Jane Austen is the celebrated biography by bestselling author Claire Tomalin

'A perfect biography: detailed, witty, warm. Tomalin involves us so deeply that Austen's final illness and death come almost as a personal tragedy to the reader' Dirk Bogarde, Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year

'Truly marvellous. I cannot think that a better life of Jane Austen then Claire Tomalin's will be written for many years. Her readings of the novels are full of brilliant insights. She often seems to be standing behind Austen's desk, observing her writing' Philip Hensher, Mail on Sunday

'As near perfect a Life of Austen as we are likely to get: intelligent, feeling, suggestive. Tomalin presents Austen as remarkably clever; sensitive, but sentimental; tough, yet observant; guarded; and a woman with the devil of a genius in her' Carmen Callil, Daily Telegraph

'Tomalin has written a biography that reflects Austen's own exacting standards, a book that radiates intelligence, wit and insight' Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

'Of all the Austen biographies, this is the best ... leaves the reader with a much deeper appreciation of the circumstances and motivation behind the creation of those six perfect novels' Harpers & Queen

From the acclaimed author of Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, Charles Dickens: A Life and The Invisible Woman, this virtuoso biography is invaluable reading for lovers of Jane Austen everywhere.

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.

Thomas Hardy

Claire Tomalin

Thomas Hardy is the acclaimed biography by bestselling author Claire Tomalin

'An extraordinary story, beautifully told. Tomalin is the most empathetic of biographers' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

Paradox ruled Thomas Hardy's life. His birth was almost his death; he became one of the great Victorian novelists and reinvented himself as one of the twentieth-century's greatest poets; he was an unhappy husband and a desolate widower; he wrote bitter attacks on the English class system yet prized the friendship of aristocrats.

In the hands of Whitbread Award-winning biographer Claire Tomalin, author of the bestselling books Charles Dickens: A Life and The Invisible Woman, Thomas Hardy the novelist, poet, neglectful husband and mourning lover all come vividly alive.

'Another triumph for a biographer who goes from strength to strength' Melvyn Bragg, Guardian, Books of the Year

'Tomalin provides an object lesson in how to write a life' Economist

'A moving story, and Tomalin tells it vividly, with as great a fund of sympathy and sense, as can be imagined' Daily Telegraph

'Skilful and absorbing, admirable. The most compelling of life stories' Daily Telegraph

'Hardy emerges as a man full of spirit and gaiety' Sunday Times

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.

The Invisible Woman

Claire Tomalin

The Invisible Woman by Claire Tomalin is the acclaimed story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens

Winner of the NCR Book Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize

'This is the story of someone who - almost - wasn't there; who vanished into thin air. Her names, dates, family and experiences very nearly disappeared from the record for good ...'

Claire Tomalin's multi-award-winning story of the life of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens is a remarkable work of biography and historical revisionism that returns the neglected actress to her rightful place in history as well as providing a compelling and truthful portrait of the great Victorian novelist.

For those who enjoyed Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self and Charles Dickens: A Life; The Invisible Woman is invaluable reading for lovers of Charles Dickens, and for readers of biography everywhere.

'Will come to be seen as one of the crucial women's biographies because of its vivid dramatization of the process by which women have been written out of history and have been forced to deny their own experiences' Sean French, New Statesman

'The most original biography I read this year. Starting out with scarcely the bare bones of a story, Tomalin convinces by the end that she has got as near to the truth as anyone will' Anthony Howard, Sunday Times

'A biography of high scholarship and compelling detective work' Melvyn Bragg, Independent

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.

Katherine Mansfield

Claire Tomalin

Katherine Mansfield is the celebrated biography be bestselling author Claire Tomalin

'One of the best biographies I have ever read: a perfect match of author and subject. It should become a classic' Alison Lurie

Pursuing art and adventure across Europe, Katherine Mansfield lived and wrote with the Furies on her heels; but when she died aged only thirty-four she became one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. Sexually ambiguous, craving love yet quarrelsome and capricious, she glittered in the brilliant circles of D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf, her beauty and recklessness inspiring admiration, jealousy, rage and devotion. Claire Tomalin's biography brings us nearer than we have ever been to this courageous, greatly gifted, haunted and haunting writer.

'Generous, dispassionate, even-handed, setting out probably as plainly as anyone ever will Katherine's high hopes, the odds she faced and the impossible obstacles that ditched her in the end' Hilary Spurling, Daily Telegraph

'Provides the finest and most subtly shaded portrait so far' John Gross, New York Times

From the acclaimed author of Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, Charles Dickens: A Life and The Invisible Woman, this virtuoso biography is invaluable reading for lovers of Katherine Mansfield everywhere.

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.

Mrs Jordan's Profession

Claire Tomalin

Mrs Jordan's Profession is the acclaimed biography of Dora Jordan by bestselling author Claire Tomalin

'Intelligent, finely made and wonderfully readable. As gripping as the best fiction' Independent on Sunday

Acclaimed as the greatest comic actress of her day, Dora Jordan lived a quite different role off-stage as lover to Prince William, third son of George III. Unmarried, the pair lived in a villa on the Thames and had ten children together until William, under pressure from royal advisers, abandoned her. The story of how Dora moved between the worlds of the eighteenth-century theatre and happy domesticity, of her fights for her family and her career makes a classic story of royal perfidy and female courage.

From the acclaimed author of Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, Charles Dickens: A Life and The Invisible Woman, this celebrated biography is one of history's most astonishing untold stories.

'The strangest and most sensational story Tomalin has told so far. A miraculously detailed portrait - as brisk, unsentimental, good-humoured and fairminded as its subject' Hilary Spurling, Daily Telegraph

'Compelling, shrewd in its judgements, exceptionally well written, and informed by a vivid sense of the past' John Gross, Sunday Telegraph

'Fascinating, affecting. A compelling story and Tomalin tells it with clarity and warmth' Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Sunday Times

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.

Samuel Pepys

Claire Tomalin

Samuel Pepys is the astonishing biography by bestselling author Claire Tomalin

2002 WHITBREAD BOOK OF THE YEAR

'Immaculately well done. Tomalin has managed to unearth a wealth of material about the uncharted life of Samuel Pepys' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

'Sex, drink, plague, fire, music, marital conflict, the fall of kings, corruption and courage in public life, wars, navies, public execution, incarceration in the Tower: Samuel Pepys's life is full of irresistible material, and Claire Tomalin seizes it with both hands. Fast, vivid, accessible' Hermione Lee, Guardian

'A rich, thoughtful and deeply satisfying account. It takes us behind and beyond the diary - which means that, on finishing it, we can reread the diary with greater pleasure and understanding then ever before' Noel Malcolm, Evening Standard

'In Claire Tomalin, Pepys has found the biographer he deserves. Her perceptive, level-headed book finally restores to the life of the diarist its weight and dignity' Lisa Jardine, New Statesman

'A great achievement and a huge pleasure. A vivid chronicle of contemporary history seen through the all too human preoccupations of this ordinary and extraordinary man' Diana Souhami, Independent

From the acclaimed author of Charles Dickens: A Life and The Invisible Woman, this celebrated biography casts new light on the remarkable diaries of Pepys and brings his story vividly to life once more.

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.

Charles Dickens

Claire Tomalin

Charles Dickens is the acclaimed definitive biography by bestselling author Claire Tomalin

Charles Dickens was a phenomenon: a demonicly hardworking journalist, the father of ten children, a tireless walker and traveller, a supporter of liberal social causes, but most of all a great novelist - the creator of characters who live immortally in the English imagination: the Artful Dodger, Mr Pickwick, Pip, David Copperfield, Little Nell, Lady Dedlock, and many more.

At the age of twelve he was sent to work in a blacking factory by his affectionate but feckless parents. From these unpromising beginnings, he rose to scale all the social and literary heights, entirely through his own efforts. When he died, the world mourned, and he was buried - against his wishes - in Westminster Abbey.Yet the brilliance concealed a divided character: a republican, he disliked America; sentimental about the family in his writings, he took up passionately with a young actress; usually generous, he cut off his impecunious children.

From the award-winning author of Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickens: A Life paints an unforgettable portrait of Dickens, capturing brilliantly the complex character of this great genius. If you loved Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol, this book is invaluable reading.

'By far the most humane and imaginatively sympathetic account yet for the general reader' Amanda Craig, New Statesman

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.

The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft

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.

Poems of John Keats

Claire Tomalin (and others)

Over the course of his short life, John Keats (1795-1821) honed a raw talent into a brilliant poetic maturity. By the end of his brief career, he had written poems of such beauty, imagination and generosity of spirit, that he had - unwittingly - fulfilled his wish that he should 'be among the English poets after my death'. This new, wide-ranging selection of Keats's poetry has been selected by Claire Tomalin.

Poems of John Milton

John Milton (and others)

John Milton was a master of almost every type of verse, from the classical to the religious and from the lyrical to the epic. This is a new selection of his poems, edited and introduced by Claire Tomalin.

Poems of Thomas Hardy

Claire Tomalin (and others)

A new selection of Hardy's love poems. Thomas Hardy is one of the sacred figures in English writing, a novelist with a world reputation, but above all a great poet.

Several Strangers

Claire Tomalin

Several Strangers is an acclaimed literary collection by bestselling author Claire Tomalin

From the celebrated biographer of Charles Dickens: A Life and The Invisible Woman, Several Strangers collects together the best of Claire Tomalin's literary pieces over a period of thirty years - including reviews of books on Freud, Katherine Mansfield, Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Gaskell, Christina Rossetti and Virginia Woolf. Through three long, splendidly written 'introductions' - the book also tells of the author's own involvement in literary journalism during that time. The result is a fascinating account of how a woman was able to survive in the male world of books and newspapers. Along the way there are brilliant portraits of Martin Amis, Andrew Neill and Julian Barnes amongst others.

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.

Biography

Claire Tomalin was literary editor of the New Statesman then the Sunday Times before leaving to become a full-time writer. Her first book, The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft, won the Whitbread First Book Award, and she has since written a number of highly acclaimed and bestselling biographies. They include Jane Austen: A Life, The Invisible Woman, a definitive account of Dickens' relationship with the actress Ellen Ternan, which won three major literary awards, and Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self was Whitbread Book of the Year in 2002. In the highly acclaimed Charles Dickens: A Life, she presents a full-scale biography of our greatest novelist. She is married to the writer Michael Frayn.