His restless creativity was spurred on by his own failures: his relationship with the young woman whom he promised to marry, then left to devote himself to writing, haunted him throughout his life. Though tormented by the pressures of celebrity, he deliberately lived amidst the crowds in Copenhagen, known by everyone but, he felt, understood by no one. When he collapsed exhausted at the age of 42, he was still pursuing the question of existence: how to be a human being in this world? Clare Carlisle’s innovative and moving biography writes Kierkegaard’s remarkable life as far as possible from his own perspective, conveying what it was like to be this Socrates of Christendom – as he put it, living life forwards yet only understanding it backwards. Available online.