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women's studies

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

Charlotte Gordon.
Publisher Random House  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
ISBN 9781400068425
Pages/Publication Date 649/2015
Daedalus Item Code 73580
This item is not available.
(Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography) This groundbreaking dual biography brings to life a pioneering English feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman) and the daughter she never knew, Mary Shelley, the Romantic visionary who gave the world Frankenstein—two courageous women who should have shared their lives, but instead shared a powerful literary and feminist legacy. In 1797, less than two weeks after giving birth to her second daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft died, and a remarkable life spent pushing against the boundaries of society's expectations for women came to an end. But another was just beginning. Wollstonecraft's daughter Mary was to follow a similarly audacious path. Both women had passionate relationships with several men, bore children out of wedlock, and chose to live in exile outside their native country. Each in her own time fought against the injustices that women faced and wrote books that changed literary history. Charlotte Gordon—also the author of Mistress Bradstreet and The Woman Who Named God—here takes readers on a vivid journey across revolutionary France and Victorian England, interweaving the lives of her two protagonists in alternating chapters to create a book that reads like a historical novel. Gordon also paints unforgettable portraits of the men in their lives, including the mercurial genius Percy Shelley, the unbridled libertine Lord Byron, and the brilliant radical William Godwin.

"Gordon, alternating between the two chapter by chapter, binds their lives into a fascinating whole. She shows, in vivid detail, how mother influenced daughter, and how the daughter's struggles mirrored the mother's."—Boston Globe

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