Ever since I interviewed Claire Tomalin for her Pepys book which won the Whitbread Prize, I’ve come to think of her as our pre-eminent literary biographer. I simply can’t think of another author who gets so close to her subjects – without ever giving them an easy ride. And I also wonder whether, in the always-on, internet age, the notion of the biography will die out. After all, don’t we know all there is to know about the authors and celebrities of today?
Anyway, here’s the blog of the event for Manchester Literature Festival. In a slightly bizarre experiment, they’ve decided to put two blogs for the same event up. I’ll leave you to decide which one is best!
“Though she admits that the art of biography is to try to get close to someone – the by-product being that she ‘ends up loving them’ – Tomalin isn’t afraid to point out Dickens’ failings”