At the top of her list:
"La Chartreuse de Parme" by Stendhal.Read about all five books on the list.
Conjures the post-Napoleonic period, from the battlefield of Waterloo to the intrigues at an Italian court where politics conflict with love.
Tomalin is best known for her award-winning biographies of subjects including Jane Austen, Samuel Pepys and, more recently, Thomas Hardy.
View Claire Tomalin's writing room.