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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the British Book Awards, Author of the Year, 2005.

When John Thaw, star of The Sweeney and Inspector Morse, died from cancer in 2002, a nation lost one of its finest actors, and Sheila Hancock lost a beloved husband. In this unique double biography she chronicles their lives, personal and professional, together and apart, growing up and growing older.

John Thaw was born in Manchester, the son of a lorry driver. When he arrived at RADA on a scholarship he felt an outsider. In fact his timing was perfect: it was the sixties and television was beginning to make its mark. With his roles in Z-Cars and The Sweeney, fame came quickly. But it was John's role as Morse that made him an icon. In 1974 he married Sheila Hancock, with whom he shared a working-class background and a RADA education. Sheila was already the star of the TV series The Rag Trade and went on to become the first woman artistic director at the RSC.

Theirs was a sometimes turbulent, always passionate relationship, and in this remarkable book Sheila describes their love, weathering overwork and the pressures of celebrity, drink, and cancer, with honesty and piercing intelligence, and evokes two lives lived to the utmost.

©2004 Sheila Hancock (P)2005 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic Reviews

"Constructed with considerable skill....A book of exceptional emotional candour." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"An impressive and affecting work of art." ( Spectator)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve
  • 17-03-2012

sad and enthralling

sheila hancock is quite brilliant in the way she switches between past and present and tells the story of her life, johns life, life together and apart, and then his death. Very moving.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • 20-01-2012

John Thaw

Would you consider the audio edition of The Two of Us to be better than the print version?

I have not read the hardcover book. I knew John Thaw primarily through movies and television. This is the reason I chose the audio version. He seems more alive on this format.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Two of Us?

I found the moment he found out he had esophageal cancer and the life he chose to live afterwards both brave and heart breaking. I still have his Morse episodes on CD. That is the beauty of this medium. He lives forever.

What about Sheila Hancock’s performance did you like?

Sheila Hancock's performance spot on. I can not envision anyone else recording this. The emotion she conveys truly moved me. I listened to the audio book twice. Wonderful

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

John Thaw's dignity through his illness and his relationships were inspiring.

Any additional comments?

I just loved getting to know John Thaw the man, it gives me more insight into his characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overton
  • 11-09-2011

Interesting and enjoyable to learn more an icon

Excellent book and interesting to learn about such a famous icon and his life. Sheila has let us in to their life and experiences both good and bad. A loss for people that admired John this book has enabled the reader to learn more about John and add to the memories of his life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-07-2005

Rewarding & Poignant

A refreshing and moving love story. Simply lovely tale of two individuals who are bound together by destiny. Written by a lady who must have loved this man with passion, but who still held firmly onto her own personality. Inspirational insight into the life of John Thaw & Shelia Hancock while maintaining privacy.

My first audio book which will lead me to discover many more I am sure.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Victoria
  • 14-01-2006

A Wonderful Story

This moving and honest account of two remarkable lives was gripping from beginning to end. A real love story that was delightful to listen to.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • 18-09-2005

The Two of Us

This was a real insight into the private relationship between two people who clearly adored each other even though they had their share of ups and downs. It shows that with patience and by brutally looking inside themselves how they overcame the difficulties which can be present in any marriage. Two artistic people at the top of their profession. You feel like writing to the author to say 'well done' but you wouldn't want to intrude on her. I loved this book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Lesley Townsend
  • 03-06-2018

A very interesting book, beautifully told.

Very much enjoyed this back story of Mrs and Mrs Thaw, its peppered with flash forwards to the months leading up to John's death. Beautifully narrated by Sheila, a feisty funny and clearly loving lady. This book was a joy. Might look for her next book Just me.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-05-2018

excellent book

A real wonderful book which take you a clean and emotional journey into two people's life in both the good and not so good times

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  • caroline gough
  • 23-05-2018

Hooked

What an amazing, beautiful and strong person Sheila Hancock is. Listen to this book in one night ( I got audio books to help me sleep, that back fired big time). Ordered her second book so no sleep again tonight.

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  • Fiona
  • 23-03-2015

You have your wonderful memories

Sheila's words spoken with such clarity. She helped me understand & deal my own bereavement.
A very fitting tribute to John.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Fliss
  • 26-04-2011

Delightful!

This is an utterly beautiful description of life and love. The fact that it is about two national treasures is incidental. I regularly left home late so I could keep listening. I have only missed a star off because I wish, I wish, I wish it had been unabridged - I'm going to have to buy the whole book now.

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  • Caliban
  • 16-06-2010

Excellent

A privileged glimpse into the lives of two loved actors, John Thaw and Sheila Hancock. Sheila Hancock safeguards their ultimate privacy while granting us insights into how and why their lives developed as they did. Her attitude and approach in fighting overwhelming grief during her early widowhood sustained her sufficiently to allow her to develop a new and rich life, and will be an inspiration to those enduring the horrors of bereavement.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Roberta
  • 23-11-2008

sensitive, poignant , funny and revealing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this bittersweet account of Sheila's life with John Thaw. She is such an honest woman who put so much of herself into the writing that I felt I knew her after I listened to it. So much enhanced by her own telling of the tale of their life together. I'm looking forward to listening to her next instalment, \"Just Me\", which promises to be another rollercoaster. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into the psyche of a very private man.