Picture of author.

Claire Tomalin

Forfatter af Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self

17+ Værker 6,847 Medlemmer 147 Anmeldelser 22 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Værker af Claire Tomalin

Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (2002) 1,736 eksemplarer, 32 anmeldelser
Jane Austen: A Life (1997) — Forfatter — 1,619 eksemplarer, 34 anmeldelser
Charles Dickens: A Life (2011) 926 eksemplarer, 33 anmeldelser
Thomas Hardy (2006) 722 eksemplarer, 11 anmeldelser
The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft (1974) 342 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
Katherine Mansfield: a secret life (1987) 249 eksemplarer, 5 anmeldelser
Mrs. Jordan's Profession: The Actress and the Prince (1994) 245 eksemplarer, 5 anmeldelser
A Life of My Own (2017) 185 eksemplarer, 5 anmeldelser
The Young H. G. Wells: Changing the World (2021) 83 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
The Garden Party and Other Stories (Everyman Selected) (1983) — Redaktør — 75 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
Young Bysshe (Pocket Penguins) (2005) 63 eksemplarer
Shelley and His World (1980) 47 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
The Winter Wife (1991) 8 eksemplarer

Associated Works

Maurice, or the Fisher's Cot: A Long-Lost Tale (1998) — Introduktion, nogle udgaver129 eksemplarer, 3 anmeldelser
The Poems of Thomas Hardy (2007) — Redaktør — 37 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse

Satte nøgleord på

Almen Viden



A detailed reading of this book tells us how much of a mystery Jane Austen is. Ruthlessly edited after her death by her family, depicted as an angelic creature in familial Victorian memoirs, our best understanding of her is in her books and through her complex, challenging, thrillingly engaging voice. THis biography tells us much about her environment and her family and situates here there, but the author herself remains, probably as she would have wished, elusive..
otterley | 33 andre anmeldelser | Jul 15, 2024 |
Acclaimed biographer Claire Tomalin has lived a meaningful life with no shortage of experiences, some unfortunately tragic. I really enjoyed following her in the oftentimes exciting bohemian London life of arts and culture and reading through all her literary pursuits. Overall I would describe the account as a bit insipid. This however does not take away from her admirable strength and personality in leading a "life of her own", even when faced with adversity.
Louisasbookclub | 4 andre anmeldelser | Jun 30, 2024 |
Somehow, Claire Tomalin packed the entire life of a busy man like Charles Dickens into just 400 pages and still managed to make it feel like she did him justice. I knew the broad strokes in advance: that Dickens was troubled at a young age by poverty, that he grew to be a court reporter, workaholic, a lover of theatre. That he believed he had married the wrong woman but proceeded to have an enormous number of children with her; and here lies his greatest failing. His wife Catherine was perpetually pregnant, the births were often hard, and Dickens was an indifferent father. Reading between the lines brings bitterly home what he valued Catherine for, and all that he valued her for. His strongest affections were saved for his male friends, whom he was more ready to regard as his equals, and for attractive young women who were not his wife, including his wife's sisters. If you come away despising Dickens the man, it will probably be for his treatment of his wife and children. If you can forgive him, it will probably be for his considerable acts of charity. A number of other well-known figures move through his life story. I expected and met Bulwer, Gaskell, Wilkins and Nelly Ternan, but John Forster was a surprise as Dickens' closest friend and confidant.

The degree of detail provided about the various parts and moments of Dickens' life is extremely uneven. This is hardly Tomalin's fault; where there are records that describe events in detail, she uses them, and where there are not she can only skim over those days, months or years. I regret that we don't know more about what drove Dickens to write each of his early novels. There is only the timeline of when he began and ended the work, and no way to explain the 'how' of what Dickens did. We can see when he disagreed with publishers, or when he pushed himself too far or, almost miraculously, pushed through. The central fact we do know is that he was a wonderful observer, and especially so of the city of London, its environs and its people.

I'm glad I read all of Dickens' completed novels first. Tomalin is unreserved in her judgements of each, not shy about spilling their details, and turns partial book reviewer while quoting from reviews by Dickens' contemporaries. She doesn't care much for any of his early novels and I disagree with her on the majority of those. There's little she can find about the story behind them, it isn't until Copperfield that she begins turning up his specific inspiration for each that follows. Coincidentally, from there to the end she is mostly praising.

I'm troubled by the relationship with Nelly Ternan. It isn't clear how much she resisted Dickens' advances (she was nineteen and he was around fifty when they met) but Tomalin suggests she at least demurred a little, even as Dickens was quick to place himself in a position of power over her family as their benefactor. Without having the details it looks like possible harassment, though she must have found it flattering and it seems she found real and lasting feelings for him. Tomalin explores their relationship with greater detail in another of her books, which I may pursue.
… (mere)
Cecrow | 32 andre anmeldelser | Apr 28, 2024 |

I have previously hugely enjoyed Tomalin’s biographies of Samuel Pepys, Jane Austen, Mary Wollstonecraft and the young H.G. Wells, so I had pretty high hopes for this autobiography, published in 2017 when she was already 84 (she turned 90 in June). And it pretty much fulfilled them.

Tomalin is the daughter of an English musician and a French writer, who married too young and were already on the verge of separation when she was conceived. She too married young, finding a journalist chap while a student at Cambridge, and the relationship deteriorated into on-again-off-again until he was killed covering the Yom Kippur war, exactly fifty years ago last month. But they had five children, two of who died, one as a baby, the other in her early 20s; and their surviving son has a serious disability. She tells us much less about her second husband, Michael Frayn, which is a little disappointing. But there is still plenty of personal material to draw on, with her literary endeavours a secondary theme. The hilarious contact lens scene from Noises Off was inspired by something that actually happened to Tomalin while on holiday with Frayn.

Writing of her time at Cambridge, she says that she gave up writing poetry because she felt she was not good enough at it; but this “left an emptiness in my life which has never quite been filled.” I find that rather sad. Her biographies are superlative, but I guess she feels that there was something more creative that was possible and that she missed out on. There is still time.
… (mere)
nwhyte | 4 andre anmeldelser | Dec 17, 2023 |



Måske også interessante?

Associated Authors


Also by

Diagrammer og grafer