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About the book
  • Published: 16 July 2018
  • ISBN: 9780241974834
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $22.99
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A Life of My Own




The top 10 Sunday Times bestselling memoir of love, loss and literature from one of Britain's best biographers.

As one of the best biographers of her generation, Claire Tomalin has written about great novelists and poets to huge success: now, she turns to look at her own life.

This enthralling memoir follows her through triumph and tragedy in about equal measure, from the disastrous marriage of her parents and the often difficult wartime childhood that followed, to her own marriage to the brilliant young journalist Nicholas Tomalin. When he was killed on assignment as a war correspondent she was left to bring up their four children - and at the same time make her own career.

She writes of the intense joys of a fascinating progression as she became one of the most successful literary editors in London before discovering her true vocation as a biographer, alongside overwhelming grief at the loss of a child.

Writing with the élan and insight which characterize her biographies, Claire Tomalin sets her own life in a wider cultural and political context, vividly and frankly portraying the social pressures on a woman in the Fifties and Sixties, and showing 'how it was for a European girl growing up in mid-twentieth-century England . . . carried along by conflicting desires to have children and a worthwhile working life.'

  • Pub date: 16 July 2018
  • ISBN: 9780241974834
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Claire Tomalin

Claire Tomalin was born in London in 1933 of a French father and an English mother, and was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. She has worked in publishing and journalism all her life, becoming literary editor first of the New Statesman and then of the Sunday Times, which she left in 1986.

She is also the author of The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft, which won the Whitbread First Book Prize for 1974; Shelley and His World (reissued by Penguin in 1992); Katherine Mansfield: A Secret Life (Penguin 1988), a biography of the modernist writer on whom she also based her 1991 play The Winter Wife; the highly-acclaimed The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens (Penguin 1991), which won the NCR Book Award for 1991, as well as the Hawthornden Prize and the 1990 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography; and Mrs Jordan's Profession (Penguin 1995), a study of the Regency actress. Other books written for Penguin are: Jane Austen: A Life and a collection of memoirs entitled Several Strangers.

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