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In the turbulent years of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, three poets--Byron, Shelley, and Keats--come to prominence, famous and infamous, for their vivid personalities, and their glamorous, shocking, and sometimes tragic lives. In this electrifying novel, those lives are explored through the eyes of the women who knew and loved them--intensely, scandalously.
Four women from widely different backgrounds are linked by a sensational fate. Mary Shelley: the gifted daughter of gifted parents, for whom passion leads to exile, loss, and a unique fame. Lady Caroline Lamb: born to fabulous wealth and aristocratic position, who risks everything for the ultimate love affair. Fanny Brawne: her quiet, middle-class girlhood is transformed--and immortalized--by a disturbing encounter with genius. Augusta Leigh: the unassuming poor relation who finds herself flouting the greatest of all taboos.
With the originality, richness, and daring of the poets themselves, Passion presents the Romantic generation in a new and unforgettable light.
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Jude Morgan was born and brought up in Peterborough on the edge of the Fens and was a student on the University of East Anglia MA Course in Creative Writing under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter.From Publishers Weekly:
Starred Review. The attempted suicide of Mary Wollstonecraft opens this carefully researched, deeply imagined and gorgeously written novel about the Romantic poets, as seen by the women who loved them: Mary Wollstonecraft's daughter, Mary Shelley, who fell scandalously in love with then-married Percy Bysshe Shelley and wrote Frankenstein at age 19; the passionate but untethered Lady Caroline Lamb, who never got over her love for Lord Byron; charming Fanny Brawne, devoted to her consumptive fiancé, Keats; and Augusta Leigh, half-sister to Byron, notorious for her incestuous affair with him. Dense, empathetic, detailed portraits of each woman lift them above their iconography; even Byron, in all his famous charm, is convincingly rendered. The poets, of course, are doomed—Byron, fighting in the Greek war of independence, dies of fever; Shelley perishes in a boating accident; and Keats succumbs to consumption. Morgan concludes with a series of carefully crafted plateaus that evocatively capture the women in varied states of acceptance, ambivalence and longing after their losses. Augusta, whose appealing calm and optimism is all the more paradoxical in light of her taboo-shattering decision to sleep with her half-brother, Byron, makes for a particularly fascinating character study. Mary Shelley, clear-eyed, solemn and terribly intelligent, also emerges as three-dimensional and compelling. Morgan (The King's Touch) brings a fascinating past to brilliant light. (Nov.)
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Book Description St. Martin's Press, 2005. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11031234368X
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 2005. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX031234368X