Thomas Hardy is one of the sacred figures in English writing, a great poet and a novelist with a world reputation. His life was also extraordinary: from the poverty of rural Dorset he went on to become the Grand Old Man of English life and letters, his last resting place in Westminster Abbey. This seminal biography, by our leading biographer, covers Hardy's illegitimate birth, his rural upbringing, his escape to London in the 1860s, his marriages, his status as a bestselling novelist, and in later life, his supreme achievements as a poet.
Shortlisted for National Book Critics Circle Awards: Biography 2008.
Shortlisted for British Book Awards: Biography of the Year 2007.
Claire Tomalin was literary editor of the New Statesman and Sunday Times. She has published a collection of journalism and is the author of seven highly acclaimed biographies, including: The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft (Whitbread First Book Prize); The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens (Hawthornden Prize, the NCR Book Award and James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography); and Pepys: The Unequalled Self (Whitbread Book of the Year).