BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize
Graham Robb's brilliant biography moves Rimbaud on from his perpetual adolescence where our imaginations have held him to show the extent of his transformations.
From phenomenally precocious schoolboy he became Europe's most shocking and exhilarating poet, author of poems that range from the exquisite to the obscene. But this brief, five-year period as the enfant-terrible of French literature is only one small side of Rimbaud's story. Robb takes us on a biographical journey through three continents and many different identities.
Rimbaud emerges from this stunning work of biographical scholarship and historical imagination as an even more complex, ambiguous and fascinating figure than ever before.
Robb has written a great biography – scholarly, humane and above all marvelously entertaining.