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Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 415 pages
  • Publisher: Alma Books; Revised edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846880343
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846880346
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Jane Hawking’s harrowing and compelling account . . . rings very true."  —Irish Times


"A great read."  —The Daily Mail


"Jane writes about her former husband with tenderness, respect and protectiveness."  —Sunday Express


"This is not a vindictive book, although the agony she went through is palpable; if Stephen’s struggle to keep his mind clear is heroic, so is her determination to balance his escalating needs and those of their three children."  —Independent on Sunday

About the Author

Jane Hawking, who was Stephen Hawking's wife for over 25 years, is a writer, lecturer, and the author of At Home in France.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pletko on October 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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"While everyone else was praising his [Dr. Stephen Hawking's] courage [since S. Hawking is seriously disabled by a motor neuron disease called ALS, commonly labeled Lou Gehrig's disease] and brilliance [in theoretical physics]...she [the organizer of this event honoring S. Hawking] had said to herself that there must be someone equally courageous behind him or he simply would not be here."

The above is found in this interesting, extremely well written and sometimes humorous book authored by Dr. Jane Hawking who was Stephen Hawking's wife for more than twenty-five years.

Be aware that this book "is a heavily revised version (with new material) of [J. Hawking's 1999 book or memoir called] `Music to the Stars.'" Hawking herself calls this book "the abridged version of the original memoir."

I chose the quotation that begins this review because it's absolutely true! She saw S. Hawking progress from a person that could walk with a cane and talk to a person that became wheelchair bound and eventually could not talk. (He now uses a speech synthesizer.) Through this period of time, she had to oversee and arrange for his 24/7, 365 days a year care that, as chronicled in this book, was an enormous task fraught with hardship and economic difficulty. This was made even more difficult when the Hawking children eventually came along since she was stretched to the limit. At one point, she even had to make a life and death decision! Despite the hardships, she was no slouch. She earned a Ph.D. in Spanish medieval linguistics!

She also saw his meteoric rise to fame after the publication of his 1988 book "A Brief History of Time." Even though there was no financial difficulty now, she still had to be concerned with his care.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Glenda Rendell on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jane Hawking is the long-suffering unsung heroine in Stephen's life. It's a shame that he can't see it. This story is honest and insightful. She writes with dignity and humility, using a fine writing style.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By savorytruffle on June 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ms. Hawking is a very intelligent and articulate woman. Her determination as a wife, mother, and academic shines through in her writing. You also get a glimpse of what it was like to live with a man that you love who has been ailed by such a debilitating disorder all while trying to battle the true love of Physics. In addition to learning about her, you also learn a lot of history. Her book is filled with useable knowledge that at times can change your perspective related to different subjects. Definitely worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan L. Wilson on December 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I learn a lot about Stephen Hawking, But I learned more about his wife Jane who sacrifice her career and her life to help Stepen out. If it was not for Jane we would have never heard of Stephen Hawking. Jane typed up all of his papers and corrected them. She also translated thme in different languages. She made sure he got every place he needed to be. She never gave up on him.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jogging Grandma on September 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was really looking forward to reading this biography. Stephen Hawking has led an extraordinary life, and to hear it from the deeply personal viewpoint of his wife of 25 years held such promise. They married at a time when women had few opportunities for their own careers, yet Jane Hawking eventually attained her own PhD. What would it be like to experience the deterioration of his body while his brilliance and fame expanded? What would it be like to love a man under the sure death sentence of ALS and yet see him outlive any predictions of a brief life? How much would she need to subsume her own life and aspirations in this situation?

The answers were somewhere there in this book, but it was a plodding string of facts, difficult to wade through. It read like a dry history told from a clinical point of view. Paragraphs were unbearably long and there was little difference between the telling of incidental facts and the heart of her story. Jane Hawking's story is compelling, and yet this book is not compelling at all. She wanted the truth to be told of her unique and painful journey before historians rewrote it, but in including every mundane detail of her life, this book became a painfully slow tome to get through. Her editor failed her. Too bad.
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