Claire Tomalin has worked in publishing and journalism for most of her life. She was literary editor first of the New Statesman and then the Sunday Times, which she left in 1986. She is the author of six highly acclaimed biographies; the Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft, which won the Whitbread First Book Prize; Shelley and His World; Katherine Mansfield; A Secret Life: The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens, which won the Hawthornden Prize, the NCR Book Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography; Mrs Jordan’s Profession; and, in 1997, Jane Austen: A Life. Pepys: The Unequalled Self won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award 2002. She lives in Richmond, Surrey with her husband, the writer Michael Frayn.
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (Viking Penguin)
Claire Tomalin traces Pepy's youth before the diary began, the poor tailor's son, the schoolboy who rejoiced at the execution of Charles I, the aspiring clerk working form Cromwell's senior officials and his transformation into a royalist who helped escort Charles II back to England and the throne.
She illuminates his ability as an administrator and his greatness as a writer, and she follows the extraordinary switchback career of triumphs and disasters that continued for three decades after the diary ended. Finally she shows how he made sure that the diary would be preserved for posterity, and how it took three centuries for the full text to be printed.
As one of our foremost literary biographers Claire Tomalin brings a brilliantly fresh and original eye to a truly remarkable life.