Ladies’ man: Tom Stoppard’s love life revealed

Gilbert in Oscar Wilde’s dialogue ‘The Critic as Artist’: ‘Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography.’ Not here. Hermione Lee’s immensely long Tom Stoppard: A Life is expert, engrossing, entertaining and sympathetic to its subject. At its heart is a writer steely in his determination to entertain, an inexhaustible mine of mots, a non-stop genius of jokes, capable of winning the Nobel Prize for the interview as an art form. It comprehensively replaces Ira Nadel’s Double Act (2002), a biography which Stoppard hoped would be ‘as inaccurate as possible’. (Indian Ink and Arcadia are both explicitly hostile to biography and its