The Invisible Woman
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The Invisible Woman : The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens

By (author) Claire Tomalin

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"The Invisible Woman" by Claire Tomalin is the acclaimed story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens. Winner of the NCR Book Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. "This is the story of someone who - almost - wasn't there; who vanished into thin air. Her names, dates, family and experiences very nearly disappeared from the record for good..." (Claire). Tomalin's multi-award-winning story of the life of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens is a remarkable work of biography and historical revisionism that returns the neglected actress to her rightful place in history as well as providing a compelling and truthful portrait of the great Victorian novelist. For those who enjoyed "Samuel Pepys": "The Unequalled Self" and "Charles Dickens: A Life"; "The Invisible Woman" is invaluable reading for lovers of Charles Dickens, and for readers of biography everywhere. "Will come to be seen as one of the crucial women's biographies because of its vivid dramatization of the process by which women have been written out of history and have been forced to deny their own experiences". (Sean French, "New Statesman"). "The most original biography I read this year. Starting out with scarcely the bare bones of a story, Tomalin convinces by the end that she has got as near to the truth as anyone will". (Anthony Howard, "Sunday Times"). "A biography of high scholarship and compelling detective work". (Melvyn Bragg, "Independent"). Claire Tomalin is the award-winning author of eight highly acclaimed biographies, including: "The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft"; "Shelley and His World"; "Katherine Mansfield: A Secret Life"; "The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens"; "Mrs Jordan's Profession"; "Jane Austen: A Life"; "Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self"; "Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man" and, most recently, "Charles Dickens: A Life". A former literary editor of the "New Statesman" and the "Sunday Times", she is married to the playwright and novelist Michael Frayn.

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  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 26mm | 299.37g
  • 01 Jan 2014
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London
  • English
  • 16pp inset photos
  • 0241963257
  • 9780241963258
  • 84,868

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Author Information

Claire Tomalin has written seven highly acclaimed biographies, and has won a host of prizes. Her Samuel Pepys was Whitbread Book of the Year in 2002. Her biography of Charles Dickens, published in 2011, was an international bestseller. A former literary editor of the New Statesman and the Sunday Times, she is married to the novelist and playwright Michael Frayn.

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Review quote

"Captivating. . . . An absorbing book about...a character who helps to illuminate the life of a great artist and the life of her times." --Michiko Kakutani, "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" (UK) "This is feminist biography at its best." --Leon Edel "Part social history, part detective story, wholly enthralling." --John Carey, "The Sunday Times" (London)

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