Reviews

  • "<b>Extraordinary</b>"

    Spectator
  • "An <b>audacious and successful</b> attempt to write a biography in the subject’s own words. Scurr has ingeniously edited Aubrey’s swift, vivid prose into a coherent account of the life lived by one of the most interesting (and interested – in everything) writers of our most exciting century, the seventeenth. <b>Irresistible</b>"

    Guardian
  • "To me this book is <b>a delight</b> and…it is the one that I would take with me to a desert island"

    The Times
  • "Writing a biography of a biographer that doubles as an experimental analysis of biography itself is <b>a formidable and astonishing achievement</b>. That it is also profoundly affecting is what makes <i>John Aubrey: My Own Life</i> a triumph"

    The Times Literary Supplement
  • "In an act of daring ventriloquism, Scurr here tells Aubrey’s life story in his own words, stitched together from his scattered manuscripts. The result is <b>a triumph of historical imagination</b>, as vivid and endearing as its subject’s own"

    Guardian
  • "Scurr confidently walks an imaginative life between historical fact and fiction. Her Aubrey – curious yet self-effacing- is <b>a very English hero</b>"

    Sunday Times
  • "Scurr’s judgment and scholarship in constructing Aubrey’s own account of events are so <b>flawless</b> that she allows us almost to forget that she is there"

    Guardian
  • "An extraordinarily original piece of biography… <b>gripping, moving, and beautifully rendered</b>"

    New Statesman
  • "It is a <b>bold and brilliant</b> experiment, but it suits the fragmentary nature of Aubrey's work and life."

    Sunday Telegraph
  • "In a year that has seen the publication of Ruth Scurr's John Aubrey: My Own Life, it's hard not to wonder...why everyone else bothers. Oh, you think, it's because they started writing their books when the earth was still flat... Scurr's book alters our perception of the territory. <b>You would be sceptical if you weren't awestruck</b>: Aubrey's voice is exceptional, and Scurr's fragmentary form is perfectly suited to her subject's magpie preoccupations."

    Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year
  • "[A] <b>moving and delicate</b> book"

    New Statesman
  • "This year saw one of the most audacious biographies I can remember reading: Ruth Scurr's John Aubrey: My Own Life... What we are presented with is a wonderful artificial composite: a fascinating patchwork made up of extracts from Aubrey's notebooks, journals and letters, chronologically rearranged with consummate editorial and novelistic artfulness by Scurr. <b>The result is haunting, memorable and, in the field of non-fiction, unprecedented</b>."

    TLS, Books of the Year
  • "Scurr wrote the biography Aubrey didn't write - Aubrey's own - in a biographical form that is <b>unique, new and gripping</b>"

    TLS, Books of the Year
  • "For me, the academic historian, Scurr’s experimental “act of scholarly imagination” has already modified significantly my own historical understanding"

    Financial Times
  • "The marriage of [Aubrey’s] words and Scurr’s is so smoothly achieved that I have no idea where one leaves off and the other intervenes"

    Scotsman
  • "Scurr’s imaginative feat of retrieval has produced a perfect book for dipping into when you want a taste of what it was like to be alive in the 17th century"

    Sunday Times
  • "It is a testament to [Scurr’s] skill that you quickly stop thinking about technique and instead slip happily into the company of the character she has created. The wealth of research and the seams between imagination and reality disappear from view. This is truly selfless biography"

    Daily Telegraph
  • "<b>A game-changer</b> in the world of biography"

    Guardian

More from this Author