"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.
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.
"A fascinating case study in mid-Victorian literary sociology." -The New York Times
"Admirable . . . One returns to Thomas Hardy with renewed pleasure and surprise." -The New York Review of Books
"Tomalin brings . . . the skills of an experienced and accomplished biographer . . . and the confidence of a deeply informed literary critic." -Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post