— But you will be ready to say, what was your hope in doing this? — What did you look forward to? — To any thing, every thing — to time, chance, circumstances, slow effects, sudden bursts, perserverance and weariness ... Every possibility of good was before me, and the first of blessings secured ... — from Emma, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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March 15, 2018

Dream job...



      Working on a biography means you are obsessed with one person and one period for several years. Another life is bound up with yours and will remain so for the rest of your own life -- that at least is my experience. You have gone in too deep to cast them aside. You have looked into the context of their lives in every aspect, examined their family backgrounds, their beliefs, their tastes, their eccentricities, their friends and enemies, their ambitions, achievement and failures, their quirks and mysteries, their betrayals and unhappiness, their political allegiances, their medical histories,their finances, their children, their reputations both in life and posthumous. You will have been surprised by them, maybe disappointed, amused, amazed.

A lovely, moving, engaging book, and an extra joy to read about the life of a biographer, one whose books you've read and enjoyed, one you've met in passing before, and one who {best of all} only turned to writing full time when she was in her fifties. :)


A life of my own, by Claire Tomalin
Viking, 2017
Borrowed from the Harvard College Library




2 comments:

Cosy Books said...

To be immersed in reading and writing, surrounded by books, all day long is my idea of a dream job. I can be swayed by the daydream of a position at the V&A though....
Glad you're enjoying this book, Audrey!

Vintage Reading said...

I loved this. Tomalin is a fine biographer and a self-effacing, unshowy person.

Thank you for visiting!

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