The Invisible Woman (Movie Tie-in Edition)

( 5 )

Overview

Now a major motion picture directed by Ralph Fiennes, co-starring Fiennes and Felicity Jones with Michelle Fairley, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Tom Hollander: the unforgettable story of Charles Dickens's mistress Nelly Ternan, and of the secret relationship that linked them.

When Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan met in 1857, she was 18: a professional actress performing in his production of The Frozen Deep. He was 45: a literary legend, a national treasure, married with ten ...

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The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens

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Overview

Now a major motion picture directed by Ralph Fiennes, co-starring Fiennes and Felicity Jones with Michelle Fairley, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Tom Hollander: the unforgettable story of Charles Dickens's mistress Nelly Ternan, and of the secret relationship that linked them.

When Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan met in 1857, she was 18: a professional actress performing in his production of The Frozen Deep. He was 45: a literary legend, a national treasure, married with ten children. This meeting sparked a love affair that lasted over a decade, destroying Dickens's marriage and ending with Nelly's near-disappearance from the public record. In this remarkable work of biography, Claire Tomalin rescues Nelly from obscurity, not only returning the neglected actress to her rightful place in history, but also giving us a compelling and truthful account of the great Victorian novelist. Through Dickens's diaries, correspondence, address books, and photographs, Tomalin is able to reconstruct the relationship between Charles and Nelly, bringing it to vivid life. The result is a riveting literary detective story—and a portrait of a singular woman.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Captivating.... An absorbing book about...a character who helps to illuminate the life of a great artist and the life of her times." —The New York Times

"As social history, literary criticism, and, not least, an absorbing detective story, The Invisible Woman is a wonderful book." —Newsday

"Groundbreaking." —The Guardian (London)

"This is feminist biography at its best." —Leon Edel

"Magisterial.... Tomalin's psychological analysis is acute, isolating that elusive something that made Dickens great." —The Daily Telegraph (London)

"Brilliantly captures [Dickens's] world.... Superbly organized, comprehensive and engrossing from start to finish." —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"A remarkable feat of biographical sleuthing." —Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804172127
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/31/2013
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 165,532
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Claire Tomalin is the author of eight highly acclaimed biographies, including Thomas Hardy and Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, which won the 2002 Whitbread Book of the Year Award. She has previously won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Hawthornden Prize, the NCR Book Award for Non-Fiction, and the Whitbread Biography Award.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    This is a dry "biography"

    I decided to read this after hearing Ralph Fiennes speak about the upcoming movie and how he became fascinated with Charles Dickens upon reading the screenplay. The movie must be a highly fictionalized and dramatized account of Dickens' relationship with Nelly, as the book is a very dry, mostly factual account of their affair. I plodded through it because I am a Dickens devotee and I was interested by his persona and learning about his power and weakness. If you are looking for a good read, try something else about Dickens because this book is definitely tough to stick with. It is boring and dry. I cannot recommend it. I hope the movie is MUCH more interesting!!!!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 28, 2014

    COLOSSALLY BORING.

    "It suited most men to believe that a virtuous actress was as likely as an honest thief."—page 49

    Perhaps if I had a better knowledge of, and appreciation for, Charles Dickens, Victorian England, and the plethora of people and places of 1850s/1860s London/England named, I would have gotten more out of Claire Tomalin's gossipy and speculative biographical offering: THE INVISIBLE WOMAN: The story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens. But I doubt it.

    Any story a highlight of which is the purchase of a dog collar in Paris—"Nelly did some shopping, or at least bought a blue collar with a silver bell for Lady Clara," page 191—begs the question: Why bother?

    Recommendation: Why bother?

    "No doubt he believed that, at the sensitive point where the theater met the outside world, hypocrisy became not only excusable but absolutely necessary."—page 155

    NOOKbook edition, 350 pages

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    Not sure if it was a good book

    [FTC: I received this book in a Goodreads/FirstReads giveaway. All opinions are my own. I am a historian, having read first person history in preparing for one Masters [of three] . My opinions are not influenced by how I got the book]

    This is a scholarly biography of Ellen("Nelly") Ternan, alledged to be the mistress of Charles Dickens. According to the authir she was. What little is left of her history does question that, most having been destroyed at Dickens' and her death.

    The question becomes how fluid morals and myths were during the Victorian era of British history, and how mythic the name Charles Dickens was, and still is, in England. Can we look at this through the Victorian eyepiece, or must we look back on it from once we stand? The prior reviewer said that they had read the book after hearing Feinnes' lauding the screenplay. This book has been out a long time.

    Scholarly it is. Balanced on scandal it also is. Titillating it isn't Tomalin is a biographer of some note, but this book is not well written, rather long, and seems to have two authors: One adores Dickens, and one tries to make him human by showing his feet of clay

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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