Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Old biographers have got something extra"

I desperately want to read Claire Tomalin's new Dickens biography!

This piece is a profile of Tomalin by Rachel Cooke, and it's got one of those amazing and awful glimpses of the life of women in London in the 1950s:
In a review of Janet Malcolm's book, The Silent Woman, about Sylvia Plath, Tomalin wrote: "... one of my most vivid memories of the 1950s is of crying into a washbasin full of soapy grey baby clothes – there were no washing machines – while my handsome and adored husband was off playing football in the park on Sunday morning with all the delightful young men who had been friends to both of us at Cambridge three years earlier. I had wanted to do something with my life – I thought I had some capacities and here they were going down the plughole with the soapsuds."

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