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Harding, Georgina 1955–

Harding, Georgina 1955–

PERSONAL:

Born June 11, 1955, in Shrewsbury, England; daughter of Egerton Charles Frances and Kathryn Harding; married David Lewis (a shipbroker), 1988; children: Tom. Education: University of Sussex, B.A.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Colchester, England. Agent—Rachel Calder, Curtis Brown, 162-168 Regent St., London W1R 5TB, England.

CAREER:

Freelance editor, 1979-89; freelance writer, 1989—.

WRITINGS:

In Another Europe, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1990.

Tranquebar: A Season in South India, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1993.

The Solitude of Thomas Cave, Bloomsbury USA (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Georgina Harding is a freelance travel writer who has also written a number of books, including In Another Europe and Tranquebar: A Season in South India. The Solitude of Thomas Cave, Harding's first work of fiction, was inspired by real-life events. While reading the memoirs of an Icelandic sailor, Harding stumbled upon the story of a sailor who bet his shipmates that he could spend the entire winter in Greenland and survive, a feat previously supposed to be impossible. From that story, Harding created her seventeenth-century sailor, a Brit by the name of Thomas Cave, and his whaling ship the Heartsease. Readers learn of Cave's family life and upbringing, and follow him into the Arctic, where he ultimately attempts to spend the winter at a whaling station.

Ed Wood, in a review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave for the London Independent, remarked: "Harding does not cram her novel with research. Her approach is refreshingly spare compared to some historical novels that force-feed us period detail; she allows her parable to breathe." Reviewing the book for the New York Times Book Review, Steven Heighton noted that "the castaway section sometimes lacks vitality, a problem that owes less to Cave's static isolation than to Harding's approach to her hero. While Defoe had Crusoe relate his own story, Harding describes Cave's solitude mainly in the third person, and in language that has a period flavor," a structure Heighton felt distanced readers from the character. However, Margaret Flanagan asserted in Booklist that "this bleakly evocative journey is well worth the trip."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2007, Margaret Flanagan, review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave, p. 34.

Entertainment Weekly, February 23, 2007, Karen Valby, review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave, p. 103.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2006, review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave, p. 1035.

Library Journal, November 15, 2006, Caroline M. Hallsworth, review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave, p. 56.

New Yorker, March 5, 2007, review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave, p. 80.

Publishers Weekly, October 16, 2006, review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave, p. 28.

School Library Journal, March 1, 2007, Sondra Vander-Ploeg, review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave, p. 243.

Times Literary Supplement, January 19, 1990, Mark Almond, review of In Another Europe: A Journey to Romania, p. 56; March 2, 2007, Ed Cumming, review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave, p. 24.

ONLINE

Independent Online, http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/ (February 4, 2007), Ed Wood, "The Glacial Zone of the Human Heart," review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave.

New York Times Book Review Online,http://www.nytimes.com/ (March 11, 2007), Steven Heighton, "Survivor," review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave.

New Zealand Listener Online,http://www.listener.co.nz/ (April 21-27, 2007), Sam Finnemore, "Internal Exile," review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave.

Waikato Times Online,http://stuff.co.nz/ (April 21, 2007), Jane Ritchie, "Harding Captures a Sailor's Solitude," review of The Solitude of Thomas Cave.

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