Christopher Nicholson

From the author of the Costa Best Novel-shortlisted ‘The Elephant Keeper’, a poignant imagining of Thomas Hardy’s relationship with his last muse.

A celebrated author, in the winter of his life, awaits a visit from a beautiful young actress – the leading lady in a staging of his most famous tragedy. But his wife is troubled. An anxious and sickly woman, she watches the growing intimacy between her husband and the young woman, and becomes tormented by the idea that they will betray her.

In this delicately-wrought novel, Christopher Nicholson has been inspired by the true story of the first theatrical production of ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ to paint a subtle and moving portrait of life’s little ironies, its disappointments and its desires.

Reviews of Winter

    • ‘A superfine, thistledown novel … written in a prose of such quality that one does not notice the quality – to describe it as craftsmanlike doesn’t do it justice. It is a prose beyond accomplishment, yet which refuses to astonish, and which is utterly appropriate.’ Ian Sansom, Guardian
    • ‘Nicholson’s opening is pitch perfect … And the novel ends with a beautifully handled conceit … It is brave to set yourself up for comparison with an author as great as Hardy but this poetic and unashamedly literary book is good enough not to be embarrassed by the company it seeks to keep.’ The Times
    • ‘Elegant … While Nicholson’s plot adds almost nothing to the historical facts, he lends the story depth by telling it from three different points of view … A memorable portrait of a failed marriage.’ Novel of the Week, Mail on Sunday
    • ‘A gently elegiac tone permeates the novel, with its ravishing, appropriately Hardyesque sense of the intimate connection between landscape and emotion … The conclusion is a touching celebration of life over art’ Telegraph
    • ‘Devotees of Thomas Hardy should find much to treasure in Nicholson’s third novel … Nicholson emulates Hardy’s elegant style with remarkable acuity … A wonderfully insightful — and occasionally humorous — portrait of marital unhappiness and the dynamics of desire and longing’ Sunday Times
    • ‘A wonderful novel, moving, gripping and illuminating.’ David Lodge
    • ‘Insightful’ Sunday Times Must Reads
    • ‘A passionate portrayal of love in its many guises’ Country Life Magazine