Books by Claire Harman

MURDER BY THE BOOK by Claire Harman
Released: March 26, 2019

"Lovers of Drood, Sherlock, Jack the Ripper, and their kin real and fictional will relish the gruesome details of this entertaining book."
An endlessly fascinating, bookish tale of true crime in Victorian England. Read full book review >
Released: March 2, 2016

"A delightfully engaging biography of a highly talented but deeply troubled prodigy of English literature."
Accomplished biographer Harman (Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World, 2010, etc.) returns with a lively account of the life of Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855).Read full book review >
JANE’S FAME by Claire Harman
Released: March 2, 2010

"A must for Austen bibliophiles."
An elegant exploration into the curious journey of literary celebrity, as exhibited by Jane Austen. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2005

"A beautifully detailed biography, rendered with honesty, integrity and humor."
An engaging look at the life and writings of a complex and contradictory fellow. Read full book review >
FANNY BURNEY by Claire Harman
Released: Aug. 30, 2001

"Substantial research informs this sympathetic and vibrant biography. (36 b&w photos)"
An important, comprehensive view of the pioneering novelist and playwright (1752-1840). Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

A richly rewarding view of an unconventional woman's eloquence, intellect, and passion over the course of five decades. Warner (18931978), a British author best known for her short stories in the New Yorker and her novels Lolly Wilowes and Mr. Fortune's Maggot, vividly documented everything in her life from the mundane to the monumental. These diaries recall her teas with musicians and authors; gardening; thoughts on politics and writing (her own and others', such as her controversial contemporary Radclyffe Hall's); her lesbianism and love for poet Valentine Ackland; and the crushing grief of Ackland's death. What emerges is a portrait of a romantic, versatile, and clever woman with a novelist's eye and a poet's ear—a delightful character to encounter whether or not one is familiar with her fiction. Her early entries are lighthearted. Here she is on a lousy day's work: ``I wrote like an old flock mattress''; or on two languorous weeks of writing, socializing, and gardening: ``a peaceful fortnight of ladylike behavior''; or on her utterly untortured creative process: ``In the late afternoon I suddenly found myself with poem . . . It was odd to be shot into that feeling again, that deliberate trance, without a word of warning.'' Her initial years with Ackland are filled with adventures and high spirits until 1949, when Ackland began an affair with another woman. But most profound are the entries from the decade between the onset of Ackland's terminal cancer and Warner's own death in 1978, in which Warner heartrendingly recalls ``the sensual freedom of the days before calamity.'' These portions powerfully evoke the pain of lost love, a pain heightened by Warner's vigilant return to their love letters and blunted only by whisky and writing. With deft editing, Harman, her biographer, has both illuminated Warner's day-to-day existence and allowed the woman's vitality and grandeur to speak for themselves. Read full book review >