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  • A subtle paean to the art of biography. It is a biographical experiment, but a deeply humane and sensitive one. It glows with the energy of lives investigated, restored, reanimated and celebrated.

    Sarah Bakewell, Sunday Times
  • Here, he has given us the distilled essence of biography and a fitting end to what he evokes as "the comedy of life".

    Lisa Appignanesi, Observer
  • As is always the case with Holroyd, the reader comes away equally inspired, equally curious, and lavishly entertained by a story-teller of the first rank

  • A small gem of humanity, curiosity and observation with a wonderful, rolling undercurrent of comedy

    Sunday Telegraph
  • Scintillating... Holroyd's book is a sly, inconclusive and utterly bewitching dance through the elusive narrative echoes that make up the biographer's art


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