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Tom Stoppard: A Life (Hardback)

Hermione Lee

A unique portrait of a great playwright by one of our leading literary biographers.

18 in stock

Date Published
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A unique portrait of a great playwright by one of our leadin literary biographers.

With unprecedented access to private papers, diaries, letters, and countless interviews with figures ranging from Felicity Kendal to John Boorman and Trevor Nunn to Steven Spielberg, Hermione Lee builds a metiucously researched portrait of one of our greatest playwrights.

Drawing on several years of long, exploratory conversations with Stoppard himself, it tracks his Czech origins and childhood in India to every school and home he’s ever lived in, every piece of writing he’s ever done, and every play and film he’s ever worked on; but in the end this is the story of a complex, elusive and private man, which tells you an enormous amount about him but leaves you, also, with the fascinating mystery of his ultimate unknowability.

Critic Reviews

Hermione Lee’s Tom Stoppard is a prodigious achievement... Stoppard’s life will not need writing again.

Sunday Times
Critic Reviews


TLS, Books of the Year
Critic Reviews

What a life! What a narrator! Insightful, thoughtful and witty: just like the plays.

New Statesman, Books of the Year
Critic Reviews

Lee’s book has the scope of a novel; it is superbly researched and written with a rare empathy and understanding of human nature...This is a hugely impressive work... He is a great playwright, and this is a great biography.

Irish Times
Critic Reviews

Hermione Lee has been allowed to go backstage, enabling her to tell the story in unmatchable detail... It seems unfair that a man of such outrageous gifts should also have been allowed to magic up the perfect biographer to write his life...Her astute accounts of Stoppard’s complex creations are among the great strengths of this exceptional biography... It is one of Lee’s several triumphs to identify the emotions that drive so much of his work.

The Guardian
Critic Reviews

Tom Stoppard has always made the most of his fate... All those marvellous plays and now this prodigious biography - how lucky can you get?

Times Literary Supplement

Hermione Lee was the President of Wolfson College Oxford from 2008 to 2017 and is a retired professor of English Literature. She has taught at the Universities of Liverpool, York and Oxford, where she held the Goldsmiths’ Chair in English from 1998 to 2008. Her work includes acclaimed biographies, all published by Chatto & Windus, of Virginia Woolf (1996), Edith…

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