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ROMANTIC OUTLAWS de Gordon Charlotte
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ROMANTIC OUTLAWS (edició 2016)

de Gordon Charlotte (Autor)

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5671536,373 (4.44)81
"Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) and her daughter Mary Shelley (1797-1851) have each been the subject of numerous biographies by top tier writers, yet no author has ever examined their lives in tandem. Perhaps this is because these two amazing women never knew each other--Wollstonecraft died of infection at the age of 38, a week after giving birth to her daughter. Nevertheless their lives were closely intertwined, their choices, dreams and tragedies so eerily similar, it seems impossible to consider one without the other: both became famous writers; both fell in love with brilliant but impossible authors; both were single mothers and had children out of wedlock (a shocking and self-destructive act in their day); both broke out of the rigid conventions of their era and lived in exile; and both played important roles in the Romantic era during which they lived. The lives of both Marys were nothing less than extraordinary, providing fabulous material for Charlotte Gordon, a gifted story teller. She seamlessly weaves their lives together in back and forth narratives, taking readers on a vivid journey across Revolutionary France and Victorian England, from the Italian seaports to the highlands of Scotland, in a book that reads like a richly textured historical novel"--… (més)
Membre:RedSonja76
Títol:ROMANTIC OUTLAWS
Autors:Gordon Charlotte (Autor)
Informació:RANDOM HOUSE (2016)
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:to-read

Informació de l'obra

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley de Charlotte Gordon

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This book about Mary Wollstonecraft, an English feminist, and her daughter Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, is probably not a book I'm properly qualified to review. I will admit to not being familiar with Wollstonecraft, though the name of her most famous work, The Vindication of the Rights of Women, was not unknown to me. Regardless, the reporting here makes it clear that Wollstonecraft was well before her time in advocacy for women's rights. On the other hand, her personal relationships with men seemed totally at odds with most of what she espoused for women in general society. To further prove my point of disqualification, I am not a big fan of poetry for reasons that have much more to do with clarity and directness of message than with skill of language manipulation, and this book is written by a poet about several very well known poets, in connection with the two main subjects of this book. Poetry lovers can stop reading now, because I'm bound to say something sacrilegious about poets and poetry, assuming I haven't already done so. William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, Robert Southey, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and maybe a few I'm forgetting, are mentioned, with very broad degrees of intimacy, directly in relationship to the main subjects of this book. That's interesting to me, given that the two main subjects are best known as a feminist advocate and a fictional novelist. I could argue that this whole book is really just a poetry buff's deep dive into two women connected to famous poets. To an extent it is, but because of the vast resources of material available to the author, and the author's very commendable persistence and skill in researching all that material, the book is much more than just a poetry fan's treat. I will argue that the author's biases toward poetry and toward the two subjects seeps through too often, but the author gave me plenty of detailed reporting to allow me to come to somewhat different conclusions about both the two subjects and to the people connected to them. Should you be a potential reader who made it this far in the review, I can say with some degree of certainty that poetry lovers (especially of those mentioned often in this book), fans of Frankenstein or its author, and persons well versed in feminist scholarship, will very likely enjoy reading this book for extra information you are not likely to find anywhere else with such ease. ( )
  larryerick | Jun 16, 2020 |
This dual biography of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter, Mary Shelley, is written in alternate chapters, following the lives of both women who really never knew each other, as Wollstonecraft died of 'childbed fever' 10 days after her daughter was born. Wollstonecraft was an early feminist who wrote 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,' among many other works. Mary Shelley is the product of the union of Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, another famous writer and philosopher. Mary Shelley married Percy Bysshe Shelley, a famous poet. She was most famous for her novel 'Frankenstein.' Both women were ostracized from society because they led unconventional lives, with love affairs that led to illegitimate children, and they both paid a high price for their views as early feminists.Interestingly, and sadly, the men in their lives generally treated them badly. Wollstonecraft attempted suicide twice because of failed love affairs, only to die once she was married and delivered her daughter. Mary Shelley had to deal with an unfaithful spouse, and the loss of all but one of her children. The book was beautifully written. The format of alternating chapters worked, but I did find that I had to go back and re-read the last page or so of each Wollstonecraft/Shelley chapter before settling my mind back to each narrative. One thing that stands out for me is how misunderstood each of them was, trying to advance women's rights at a time when their words represented sacrilege in the public eye. Both, also, had their works or biographies altered after death, Mary W's by Godwin, and Mary S's by her daughter-in-law, and in both cases their biographers did not serve them well, causing the public to reject their works. It was not until more recent times that their reputations have been resuscitated. ( )
  peggybr | Jun 15, 2020 |
This is really 2 biographies in one. So be prepared for lots of details. I mostly wanted to read a bio of Wollstonecraft but - they both had such interesting radical scandalous lives, this was really good. ( )
  DeidreH | Jan 26, 2020 |
This extraordinary book is a dual biography of Mary Wollstonecraft (author, among many other things, of A Vindication of the Rights of Women) and her daughter, Mary Shelley (most famous for writing Frankenstein). Although they never met (Wollstonecraft died shortly after giving birth to Shelley) the mother had a profound influence on the daughter and there are many parallels between their lives as this book shows.

The book is written with alternating chapters focusing on each woman in turn and with each pair of chapters roughly representing equivalent periods or stages of their lives and careers. This constant switching can be confusing at times, especially as many characters, both major and minor, were significant to both women. But this is a minor issue and the structure magnificently serves to show how much they were alike and, especially, how each was treated by the men in their lives and the societies in which they lived.

Both women were intelligent, purposeful, capable and almost entirely constrained because they were women. In their literary careers both published work that was assumed not to have been written by a woman or was ignored or under appreciated because they were women. In their private lives, both suffered at the hands of men who automatically considered them and their ideas to be of less worth than those of a man. Both women had their reputations destroyed after their deaths and were all but forgotten until the rise of the feminist movement in the second half of the 20th century brought them to prominence again.

Charlotte Gordon has produced a wonderful book that takes us inside the world in which these women lived, inside their lives both personal and professional and inside their minds through their own writing and the observations of others. This is the best biography of any woman I have ever read. ( )
  pierthinker | Jan 28, 2019 |
This was WONDERFUL. I absolutely loved it, and wholeheartedly recommend it. ( )
  whatsmacksaid | Sep 21, 2018 |
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The memory of my mother has always been the pride and delight of my life. - Mary Shelley
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To my mother, Emily Conover Evarts Gordon
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Introduction
In London, England, on August 30, 1797, a newborn baby fought for her life.
On a sunny afternoon in late August 1801, a few miles north of London, three-year-old Mary Godwin held her father's hand as they walked through the gates of St. Pancras churchyard.
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The point of a good book was to provoke both ideas and emotion in the reader, not to engage in a battle of wits.
When I placed my head on my pillow, I did not sleep, nor could I be said to think. My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me, gifting the successive images that arose in my mind with a vividness far beyond the usual bounds of reverie. - Mary Shelley
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"Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) and her daughter Mary Shelley (1797-1851) have each been the subject of numerous biographies by top tier writers, yet no author has ever examined their lives in tandem. Perhaps this is because these two amazing women never knew each other--Wollstonecraft died of infection at the age of 38, a week after giving birth to her daughter. Nevertheless their lives were closely intertwined, their choices, dreams and tragedies so eerily similar, it seems impossible to consider one without the other: both became famous writers; both fell in love with brilliant but impossible authors; both were single mothers and had children out of wedlock (a shocking and self-destructive act in their day); both broke out of the rigid conventions of their era and lived in exile; and both played important roles in the Romantic era during which they lived. The lives of both Marys were nothing less than extraordinary, providing fabulous material for Charlotte Gordon, a gifted story teller. She seamlessly weaves their lives together in back and forth narratives, taking readers on a vivid journey across Revolutionary France and Victorian England, from the Italian seaports to the highlands of Scotland, in a book that reads like a richly textured historical novel"--

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