Philip Hoare is the author of six works of non-fiction: Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant (1990) and Noel Coward: A Biography (1995), Wilde's Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy, and the First World War (1997), Spike Island: The Memory of a Military Hospital (2000), and England's Lost Eden: Adventures in a Victorian Utopia (2005). Leviathan or, The Whale (2008), won the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. Most recently, The Sea Inside (2013) was published to great critical acclaim. An experienced broadcaster, Hoare wrote and presented the BBC Arena film The Hunt for Moby-Dick, and directed three films for BBC's Whale Night. He is Visiting Fellow at Southampton University, and Leverhulme Artist-in-residence at The Marine Institute, Plymouth University, which awarded him an honourary doctorate in 2011.
Praise for Albert and the Whale
'Always original ... Always pushing from somewhere new' Olivia Laing
'In Albert & the Whale he leads his readers off on a
marvellously varied, vividly imaginative, seductively digressive
adventure that traces the path of another colossus...
this is a book to immerse you' The Times, Book of the Week, Rachel Campell-Johnston
'Magnificent new book ... Hoare's feeling for Durer exceeds anything I have ever read ... his greatest work yet' Observer, Book of the Week, Laura Cumming
'Marvellous, unaccountable book. This is a book like the stomach of a whale: capaciously ready to accommodate whatever disparate stuff comes its way' Literary Review
'Philip Hoare, best know for Leviathan, his discursive and personal book about whales, has written a very Sebaldian new book. In it, he traverses his own patch and sniffs out an assortment of seemingly unrelated themes - Albrecht Durer, cetaceans, Thomas Mann and David Bowie, a deformation of the hand, the death of his mother - and proceeds to reveal the single degree of separation between them... Enlightening' Michael Prodger, Sunday Times
'Visionary: a tone poem put together from the lives of others, with detailed use of archives' Financial Times
'Mr Hoare's portrait glitters with arresting details ... His readings of Durer's work grow woozy with enthusiasm, dissolving into a kind of modernist poetry. Readers who prefer their art history to have both feet on the ground might be unmoored; others will be intoxicated' Economist
'It's a summary-defying blend of art history, biography, nature writing and memoir ... you can feel the delight he takes in being unbound by anything but his enthusiasms. He is alternately precise and concealing. His biographical sections are both elliptical and redolent of entire lives. His art criticism is often stirring' New York Times