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23.10.2018

Book Review: John Keats and the Medical Imagination, edited by Nicholas Roe

by Suzie Grogan   For the Keats scholar, reader, aficionado, critic – new to the great man’s works, an enthusiast of long-standing or of enquiring mind – there are innumerable books of poetry, biography, letters and critique. Sifting through all those on offer, uncovering the good, the less good and the, frankly, incomprehensible work that […]

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24.01.2018

Book review: In Search of Mary Shelley, by Fiona Sampson

by Barry Forshaw   Does Mary Shelley need rescuing from neglect? Has the young woman who created the most iconic figures in Gothic literature apart from Bram Stoker’s Dracula — Frankenstein and his benighted, stitched-together creature — languished in the shadow of her husband and lover Percy Bysshe Shelley, her friend Lord Byron and her […]

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07.01.2018

Book review: Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years, by Christopher Frayling

by Barry Forshaw Given that the 1st of January 2018 is a significant literary date — 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein — it is surprising (and disappointing) that this event is not enjoying more ballyhoo – but this sumptuous, over-sized volume goes some way to redressing that injustice.   Sir Christopher […]

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12.07.2015

Book review: William Wordsworth: A Life by Stephen Gill

by Anna Mercer Stephen Gill’s biography of William Wordsworth is a carefully considered, detailed and incredibly readable account of the poet’s life and – most importantly – his works. A chronological survey of Wordsworth’s writing is given here as well as attention to the facts of his biography, and observations on the nature of his […]

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09.04.2015

Book reviews: The Poets’ Daughters by Katie Waldegrave

For this post we have two different reviews of a new biography of Sara Coleridge and Dora Wordsworth: the first by Lynn Roberts, and a second by Will Barber-Taylor. They have slightly different views, so do join in the debate in Twitter or on this page, and let us know what you think! Katie Waldegrave, […]

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18.08.2014

Book review: The Vampyre Family: Passion, Envy and The Curse of Byron by Andrew McConnell Stott

By Pam Norfolk The famous meeting of literary minds at the Villa Diodati in the stormy summer of 1816 has always read like the Gothic novel it spawned. This iconic juncture in the lives of troubled poets Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, along with Shelley’s lover Mary Godwin, gave birth to a series of […]

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27.05.2014

Book review: A Treacherous Likeness by Lynn Shepherd

Reviewed by Pam Norfolk He was one of England’s great Romantic poets, she was the celebrated creator of Frankenstein, and their illicit love affair scandalised early 19th century society. But did the lives of Percy and Mary Shelley harbour secrets more dangerous and more deadly than we could ever have imagined? It will take two […]

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29.04.2014

Book review: Unfashioned Creatures by Lesley McDowell

Review by Pam Norfolk ‘Love is merely a madness,’ wrote Shakespeare but it was the poets and writers of the later Romantic period who came to love madness to distraction. Mental disorders, sexual obsession and supernatural mystery were at the beating heart of 19th century literature… and leading the charge was Mary Shelley with her […]

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