Claire Tomalin's latest book is Charles Dickens: A Life.
From her Q & A with Anna Metcalfe at the Financial Times:
What book changed your life?Read the complete Q & A.
J.E. Neale’s Queen Elizabeth, which I bought in 1945 when I was 12. I was very priggish as a child. I saved up for a book on medieval English nunneries, for which I was despised by my friends.
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Who would you most like to sit next to at a dinner party?
People I’ve never met before, as I like asking them to tell me about themselves. François Hollande, perhaps?
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What is the strangest thing you’ve ever done for the sake of researching a book?
For Dickens I found a harbourmaster to take me and my husband up the Medway. When Dickens was a child his father used to take him there as a treat, on a navy yacht, and it had a profound effect on his imagination. I wanted to experience it.
Learn about Claire Tomalin's five most important books.