"Reimagined slice-of-Thomas Hardy-life focusing on the complicated relationship with his obsessive second wife and the ingénue actress portraying Hardy's most infamous heroine 'Tess.' Creatively curious and illuminating novel that will send readers back to the Hardy'esque landscape titles on their bookshelves!" --Jane— From Jane's Staff Recommendations
A November morning in the 1920s finds an elderly man in his eighties walking the grounds of his Dorchester home, pondering his past and future with deep despondence. That man is the revered novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, and Christopher Nicholson's fictionalized account of the final years of the accomplished writer's life is as engrossing as it is heartbreaking.
The novel focuses on the true events that occurred around the London theater dramatization of Hardy's acclaimed novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, including Hardy's hand-picked casting of the young, alluring Gertrude "Gertie" Bugler of The Hardy Players to play Tess. As plans for the play become more concrete, Hardy's interest in Gertie becomes a voyeuristic infatuation, causing him to write some of the best poems of his career. However, when Hardy's reclusive wife, Florence, catches wind of Hardy's desire for Gertie to take the London stage, a tangled web of jealously and missed opportunity ensnares all three characters-with devastating results.
Told from the perspectives of Hardy, Gertie, and Florence, Nicholson's novel perfectly captures the often-difficult juxtaposition of fledgling hopes and the unfulfilled life. With expert insight into the struggles of both Hardy and Florence, coupled with poetic yet unassuming prose, Winter is certainly on par with the novels of its central character.
About the Author
Christopher Nicholson is a writer, living in England. His latest novel, Winter, was published by Fourth Estate in January 2014. His two earlier novels are The Fattest Man In America (2005) and The Elephant Keeper (2009). The Elephant Keeper was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and the Encore Award. A serial adaptation was broadcast as a BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week'. He has two children, a son and a daughter. For the past twenty-five years he has lived in the countryside on the border between Wiltshire and Dorset.