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Ben Downing…[Hay] is a skilled and sure-footed chronicler. In firm, clear, often elegant prose, she narrates the main events in the lives of her subjects…Moving swiftly and purposefully, her story has no longueurs whatsoever, nor even a single lurching transition; it represents a triumph of artful selection and synthesis. If you want to read a single book of modest length on the lives (less so the work) of the later Romantics, this might very well be the one.
—The New York Times