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Great book about the Romantic poets and the women in their lives
This book fulfills a much-needed gap in historical fiction, and I hope to inspire more people to read it. I love and admire Jane Austen as much as anyone, but hey, Regency England did not begin and end with Jane Austen! Byron, Shelley, and Keats were three of the greatest poets in the language, and also had fascinating, exciting, and ultimately tragic, lives. Jude Morgan illuminates these men and their world by telling the stories of the women closest to them: Byron's most notorious lover, Lady Caroline Lamb; his half-sister (and also lover!) Augusta Leigh; Percy Shelley's wife (and author of Frankenstein), Mary Shelley; and Keats' fiance, Fanny Brawne. Readers should not be put off by the poorly-chosen title or the stereotypically romance-novelish cover. Jude Morgan knows her stuff. She knows not only the literature--clearly she's read her Romantic poets inside and out--but is very knowledgeable about the historical and philosophical background in the period as well. That being said, this book is NEVER BORING, and I think it would be accessible to people who aren't familiar with the poets and their work. I love the way the book opens with the attempted suicide of Mary Wollstonecraft, author of the feminist manifesto, Vindication of the Rights of Woman and the mother of Mary Shelley. This intro really set the scene about the issues that women (especially intelligent, ambitious, gifted women) faced at the time when women's roles were so limited. I found myself sympathetic to all the women in the novel. And of the poets, this novel made me love Keats even more, not just as a poet but as a person; and it helped me to understand Byron better. Morgan's novel has inspired me to read more of his letters and I finally understand now why so many people around him loved and admired him.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Passion is deeply affecting and a powerful and moving read. It channels the spirit of the times, radiating with a true and compassionate understanding of the people whose stories it tells. I've chosen it for my book club, and even though our meeting isn't until next week, I've already gotten favorable phone calls from my book club friends, even those who don't know much about British literature and/or even dislike historical fiction.
Posted August 17, 2008
The most amazing book i have ever read!
the headline speaks for itself. it is PASSIONATE! 4 women...3 men... some of the relations include family blood... if thats not intriguing, i don't know what is! i really really recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.