It has previously not been feasible to study in depth the expansion of Proust's famous novel, A la recherche du temps perdu. In 1913, the novel was to be 1500 pages; by 1922, when Proust died, it was 3000. How did it grow to such proportions? Which characters were always there - which ones sprang from their author's imagination in his very last years? Had Proust always been as interested in certain psychological phenomena as he was to become during the First World War and after? With the public release of the Proust manuscripts, these questions can be answered with a greater range, and certainty. With an extensive and original survey of the post-1914 manuscripts, typescripts and proofs of A la recherche du temps perdu, Alison Winton provides an intellectual and spiritual biography of one of the greatest twentieth-century European novelists, at the height of his creative period. She shows what ideas, images and aspects of personality were increasingly preoccupying Proust as he inserted more and more episodes into his novel.