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 ...
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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Don't let the Danielle Steele-type title put you off. This is a stunning novel, the kind you won't want to put down. It's more about the women in the lives of the romantic poets rather than the poets themselves. The narrative shifts among Mary Shelley, her stepsister Claire Clairemont (Byron's lover and mother of his daughter, and possibly Percy Shelley's lover as well), Lady Caroline Lamb (Byron's mad lover), Augusta Leigh (Byron's half-sister and lover), and Fanny Brawne (Keats's fiancee). Morgan's intelligent prose brings these women to life; they are given strong voices and personalities and become much more than the poets' objects of desire. Their stories, like the lives of the poets, are intermingled, often crossing paths. I absolutely loved this book and have been recommending it to everyone I know who enjoys sophisticated histroical ficton.
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