The Invisible Woman (Movie Tie-in Edition)
By Claire Tomalin
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780804172127, 384pp.)
Publication Date: December 31, 2013
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Now a major motion picture directed by Ralph Fiennes, co-starring Fiennes and Felicity Jones with Michelle Fairley, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Tom Hollander: the unforgettable story of Charles Dickens's mistress Nelly Ternan, and of the secret relationship that linked them.
When Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan met in 1857, she was 18: a professional actress performing in his production of The Frozen Deep. He was 45: a literary legend, a national treasure, married with ten children. This meeting sparked a love affair that lasted over a decade, destroying Dickens's marriage and ending with Nelly's near-disappearance from the public record. In this remarkable work of biography, Claire Tomalin rescues Nelly from obscurity, not only returning the neglected actress to her rightful place in history, but also giving us a compelling and truthful account of the great Victorian novelist. Through Dickens's diaries, correspondence, address books, and photographs, Tomalin is able to reconstruct the relationship between Charles and Nelly, bringing it to vivid life. The result is a riveting literary detective story—and a portrait of a singular woman.
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.
"Captivating.... An absorbing book about...a character who helps to illuminate the life of a great artist and the life of her times." —The New York Times
"As social history, literary criticism, and, not least, an absorbing detective story, The Invisible Woman is a wonderful book." —Newsday
"Groundbreaking." —The Guardian (London)
"This is feminist biography at its best." —Leon Edel
"Magisterial.... Tomalin's psychological analysis is acute, isolating that elusive something that made Dickens great." —The Daily Telegraph (London)
"Brilliantly captures [Dickens's] world.... Superbly organized, comprehensive and engrossing from start to finish." —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"A remarkable feat of biographical sleuthing." —Publishers Weekly