Shot through with Stoppard’s voice, and illuminating all his plays, Lee’s gripping narrative draws on unprecedented access to archive material, interviews and long conversations with Stoppard himself. She traces the dramatic story of his family’s flight from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, his sudden leap to fame, his personal life and his dazzling successes. A riveting account of a very public and very private man.
Hermione Lee builds a portrait of one of our greatest playwrights. Her biography is remarkable for its unprecedented access to private papers, diaries and letters, and for the countless interviews it draws on. Meticulously researched, it tracks its subject from his Czech origins and childhood in India to every school and home he’s ever lived in, every piece of writing he’s ever done, and every play and film he’s ever worked on. It describes a career spanning over five decades, right up to his new, movingly personal play Leopoldstadt, opening in 2020, soon before the publication of this book. Lee’s biography is full of Stoppard’s voice, humour and thoughts about life: there’s a Stoppard joke on almost every page.