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Romantic Outlaws
Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley | Charlotte Gordon
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE SEATTLE TIMESThis groundbreaking dual biography brings to life a pioneering English feminist and the daughter she never knew. Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley have each been the subject of numerous biographies, yet no one has ever examined their lives in one bookuntil now. In Romantic Outlaws, Charlotte Gordon reunites the trailblazing author who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and the Romantic visionary who gave the world Frankensteintwo 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 societys expectations for women came to an end. But another was just beginning. Wollstonecrafts 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 women faced and wrote books that changed literary history. The private lives of both Marys were nothing less than the stuff of great Romantic drama, providing fabulous material for Charlotte Gordon, an accomplished historian and a gifted storyteller. Taking readers on a vivid journey across revolutionary France and Victorian England, she seamlessly interweaves the lives of her two protagonists in alternating chapters, creating a book that reads like a richly textured 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. Brave, passionate, and visionary, they broke almost every rule there was to break, Gordon writes of Wollstonecraft and Shelley. A truly revelatory biography, Romantic Outlaws reveals the defiant, creative lives of this daring mother-daughter pair who refused to be confined by the rigid conventions of their era.Praise for Romantic Outlaws [An] impassioned dual biography . . . 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 daughters struggles mirrored the mothers.The Boston Globe Written with the galloping pace of a skilled novel peopled with fascinating characters . . . these women live on in its pages. . . . Thorough and irresistible.The Seattle Times Gordon unfolds the two stories in tandem, deftly balancing the gossipy aspects of her subjects lives with their serious intellectual concerns.The New Yorker [A] thoughtful, intelligent and deeply felt book . . . Gordon has written a book about two women, a mother and her daughter, who changed not only the way we think, but the way we are.The Sunday Times (London) A most welcome deeper take on the women who scandalized Victorian Englandand whose stories continue to resonate today.Vogue By linking these two lives, Ms. Gordons biography stretches over a fascinating era in history, characterized by great flux in political and cultural thinking and involving some of the main figures in English literary and philosophical history.The Wall Street JournalFrom the Hardcover edition.
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EchoCharlie
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So is Hozier like Shelley, or Shelley like Hozier?

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EchoCharlie
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The more I learn about Percy Shelley, the more I can't stand him

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EchoCharlie
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Apparently in Regency England, animals had more rights than women 😡

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Palimpsest
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I‘m a bit torn over the Mary Shelley biography I‘ve been reading, In Search of Mary Shelley. There seems to be a bit of supposition to the point of overreaching to form a connection in how Mary viewed herself in the world. Also, I can tell the author despises Percy Shelley. I do like a lot of the other info, but my husband surprised me with this biography which includes Mary Wollstonecraft as well. Now I‘ll compare. Cake was a Mother‘s Day treat!

robinb Yummmm🍓 7mo
Birdsong28 It is very good 📚📖 7mo
49 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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batsy
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Thank you for this most delightful Christmas package, @erzascarletbookgasm ! 😘 I love how it was wrapped; it's so cute with the mini candy canes 😍 Thank you so much, J! Have a lovely holiday with your family ❤️❤️

TrishB Love that card too 💕 12mo
erzascarletbookgasm 😭 I‘m a terrible ‘stalker‘, Suba!..enjoy the chocolate, nevertheless. Happy Christmas! 🎄 12mo
Cathythoughts Gorgeous! I‘ve never heard of fruit & nut m&m‘s ..,.. 😋 everything looks lovely (edited) 12mo
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batsy @TrishB It's so cute :) 12mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Not at all, it's perfect! I'm so happy to have a physical copy; it's a book that I want to go back to and page through and my NetGalley copy has expired. Thank you 😘😘 12mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Me neither! Can't wait to have chocs for breakfast 😁 12mo
rohit-sawant That's so lovely! 12mo
batsy @rohit-sawant 💜 12mo
erzascarletbookgasm 💕 Happy holidays! 12mo
LeahBergen That book sounds great! 👏🏻 12mo
readordierachel How lovely! I have that (audio)book waiting in my library. It sounds fascinating. 12mo
batsy @LeahBergen @ReadOrDieRachel It's such a fascinating read! 12mo
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Librarybelle
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Some day, I hope to #FeedMyFrankenstein by reading this book about Shelley and her mother. There are also a ton of new books out there about Shelley and Frankenstein, so everyone can feed their monsters! #OctoberXFiles

Reviewsbylola I‘m fascinated by the Shelleys! 14mo
Cinfhen Very cool 😎 👍🏻 14mo
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Felso
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I‘m on a Mary Shelley fascination at the moment. I can‘t learn enough about her. Which authors are you fascinated by, want to learn everything about? Me? Jane Austen of course, I‘ve been a Janeite for over 15 years. Through the years I‘ve had to learn all about Elizabeth Gaskell, Leo Tolstoy, Edgar Alan Poe, John Keats (even though I‘m not a poetry fan- the movie Bright Star is to blame), Thomas Hardy.

Melissa_J Hey @LeahBergen this book totally looks right up your alley! 1y
Melissa_J I‘m not much into authors themselves, just their works. Jane Austen is really the only author who I enjoy reading about. 1y
Chrissyreadit I thought of @LeahBergen too, and @CrowCAH . 1y
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CrowCAH @Chrissyreadit aww thanks for the thoughts! 😘 1y
CrowCAH @Felso have you joined the @JANEissarilyAUSTENtatious group? If not, get your @Janeite on!!! ☺️ 1y
LeahBergen @Melissa_J @Chrissyreadit You two are spot on! I‘ve been eyeballing this book. 😄 1y
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Linsy
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batsy
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Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, mother and daughter (though Wollstonecraft died soon after giving birth to Mary 😔) lived through incredibly complex and complicated kinship and #family arrangements. How challenging it was to be a daughter, sister, wife, mother, lover, thinker, and artist; and the extreme toll it took on the body without reproductive autonomy and advanced medicine. #maylovesclassics #litsyclassics @Sarah83 @Bambolina_81

Bambolina_81 Stacked! 2y
emilyhaldi Sounds good!! #stacked 2y
Moray_Reads I have this on my shelf, it looks great 2y
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rohit-sawant Great blurb! Stacking! 2y
readordierachel I have this as an audiobook. Must get to it soon, it sounds so good! 2y
batsy @Bambolina_81 @emilyhaldi @Moray_Reads @rohit-sawant @ReadOrDieRachel It's a worthwhile, informative read 🙂 2y
Centique I can‘t get enough of these guys! Stacked for me too 😊 2y
KateFulfordAuthor If you like family dynamic in a story, may I recommend my debut to you? Fictional, this time. It has a sassy female narrative, a well developed cast of characters and a page turning plot. All the information you need (summary, reviews and more) is available in the link in my bio. Thank you, Kate. 2y
saresmoore Hi, don‘t mind me catching up on all your posts! Darn the ridiculous time difference! 2y
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quirkyreader
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Pickpick

The #MountTBRChallenge scales on. Here is the link to my gr review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1844675427

charl08 You cover is definitely better than mine. Must pick it up! 2y
ValerieAndBooks Looks good; stacking!! 2y
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quirkyreader
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I am so behind on my reading. But then again the books I have been reading have been averaging between 400 and 500 pages.

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Expandingbookshelf
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It is a MISERABLE Marathon Monday here in Boston. Instead of cheering for ridiculous humans voluntarily running 26.6 miles, I am staying warm and dry in my own home. No. Regrets.

monalyisha This book‘s on my TBR & looks amazing, though! So at least there‘s that. 😉 2y
Readergrrl I started this book last last summer but then, ironically, school started where I teach with Frankenstein. Will have to wait until this summer to finish!! 2y
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Samanthajane
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Pickpick

This is an excellent book! It‘s a good look at Wollstonecraft and Shelley. The chapters are set up so that every other chapter is about one Mary then the other. It‘s an interesting setup, which I liked but some might find confusing. Still worth it!

RaimeyGallant Nice review. :) And welcome to Litsy! #LitsyWelcomeWagon Some of us put together Litsy tips to help new Littens navigate the site. It's the link in my bio on my page in case you need it. Or if you prefer how-to videos, @chelleo put some together at the link in her bio. 2y
Chelleo Welcome 🤗 2y
Samanthajane Thank you! @Chelleo @RaimeyGallant I‘ll take a look at those tips and how-to videos. 😊 2y
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RaimeyGallant Hope they help. :) 2y
Jess7 Here is the link to @RaimeyGallant ‘s tips! They‘re really good for new Littens: https://raimeygallant.com/2017/10/31/litsytips/ 2y
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mayusteapot
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"Maybe Godwin [...] could teach her the rules of syntax -- an unlikely foundation for romance, perhaps, but for Mary, there could be few more intimate exchanges. She wrote to reveal herself to the world; commas, sentences, and paragraphs were the only tools she had. Years earlier she had begun her passionate friendships with both Fanny Blood and Jane Arden by asking them to correct her grammar."

Mary Wollstonecraft = my fave nerd ???

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Linsy
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Once upon a time,
Romantic outlaws:
A tyranny of petticoats
Glamour in glass
The One.

#spinepoetry #riotgrams

Eggs 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
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mayusteapot
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I always read several books at a time but I'm spending my morning tea with an alternating Mary. I just left Mary Wollstonecraft in revolutionary Paris being stalked by her future lover and tomorrow I get to rescue Mary Godwin (later Shelley) from off-season Bath where she's working on Frankenstein. #riotgrams #currentread @bookriot

Linsy Love it! 👊 (edited) 2y
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mayusteapot

😍😢😭😭😍😢😍😢😭😭😍😢😍😭

all the feels. reading how the issues of feminism are the same as we have today and how ~230 years ago Mary Wollstonecraft declared women's rights and the opposition still uses the same arguments today and... I just... can't. it's hard to read when it all goes blurry... and I know this, actively, but it's just so powerful to read about it...

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mayusteapot
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On one of their visits, they scratched their initials into a windowpane with a diamond ring, never dreaming that one day Mary would have fans who would travel thousands of miles to see her wobbly MWG; the cottage became a pilgrimage site until the window was stolen from the house in the 1970s.

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KatWDV
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queerbookreader
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🎀 Ebook deal of the day 🎀 because we are all obsessed with the mother-daughter duo that are Mary's Wollstonecraft and Shelley. We luv them.

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jpmcwisemorgan
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It‘s on sale as an ebook so I thought, why not?!

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readordierachel
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You could pair this dual biography of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley with one of their famous works. #bookpairings

#fallintobooks @RealLifeReading

batsy Oh yes, great choices. Loved Romantic Outlaws. 2y
readordierachel @batsy Glad to hear you loved it! I own it but haven't read it yet. One of the many... 2y
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KatWDV
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Such a gripping read! #marywollstonecraft

charl08 This is one I had to return to the library unread - ran out of time. Must get my own copy! 2y
KatWDV Definitely! It's such a good read - 2y
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hfpotier
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Cannot wait to read this.

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KatWDV
This post contains spoilers
show me
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If this isn't the beginnings of Mary Shelley's (nee Godwin) Gothic career, I don't know what is.

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mklong
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Mary Wollstonecraft died days after giving birth to her daughter so sadly mother and daughter never knew each other. Inspired by her mother's writing, Mary Shelley lived the bold and vibrant life, unhindered by convention, that her mother would have wanted for her anyway. These ladies are the best kind of #renegades. #lyricalapril

Cinfhen Fabulous choice 3y
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Birdsong28
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Pickpick

Very good. Detail was superb found out things I didn't know and has made me want to found out more. The only issue I found with it is that the chapters alternate between the two (which is a nice break from traditional biographies) which meant that is was sometimes hard to keep up with which Mary it was!

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emilyesears
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The first-ever dual biography of both Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley. The chapters switch between the women--one chapter on Wollstonecraft's childhood, another on Shelley's, etc.--in order to show the influence Wollstonecraft had on her daughter, despite her death a few days after Shelley's birth. I'm enjoying it and would recommend it if you like nonfiction about strong women!

seebiscan This sounds fascinating! I took a course on Wollstonecraft and Shelley in college--definitely adding this to my TBR! 3y
emilyesears @seebiscan I took a course just like that as well! We had to read Frankenstein and parts of Vindication as well as a few things by other Romantic female writers like Mary Hays. 3y
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RebeccaH
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One of my Christmas books. It looks so much right up my alley. Anybody read it?

Lacythebookworm Sounds great! 😊 3y
aeeklund I have this, but haven't started it yet! How is it?? 3y
RebeccaH @aeeklund I'm not reading it yet -- it will be awhile probably! I hope we both like it! :) 3y
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Spiderfelt My bookclub read it in September. The reaction was mixed. We knew nothing about these women, and now we do. The Romantics aren't my favorite, so there were some struggles from the beginning. There's no doubt they were courageous women who dared to live outside the norms of their society. I hated all the men for being so selfish and two-faced. Ultimately I rated this book so-so. 3y
RebeccaH Thanks for your response @Spiderfelt! I'm pretty familiar with these writers and the time period, so I know what I'm getting into at least! 3y
Spiderfelt In that case, I'm sure you will love it. 3y
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prowlix
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Pickpick

Each chapter shifts between mother and daughter running their lives in parallel to show how similar they really were. I thought this was fascinating and a bit terrifying how both women were almost lost to history after their deaths because of well meaning relatives telling their stories! Great read if your interested in literary history or history of feminism ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reviewsbylola I have had my eye on this one. Their lives would certainly be interesting to read about. 3y
charl08 This one is in the TBR pile... 3y
prowlix @Reviewsbylola I knew very little about Wollstonecraft and just the scandal about Mary Shelley going into it! I hope you enjoy it! 3y
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prowlix
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Cold gloomy day = hot chocolate + kindle + warm blanket 👍

Lacythebookworm Perfect! 👌 3y
32 likes1 comment
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PlantyLibrarian
Pickpick

Read this shit. This shit's good.

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Spiderfelt
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Hey @Litsy Please add an item to the wishlist of improvements for this app. It would be fantastic if you could run an algorithm to weed out duplicate titles in your database. I imagine the days are shorter than the to-do lists. Thanks for brining this app into the world. Keep up the great work.

15 likes9 comments
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prowlix
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Apparently I agree with 39 other highlighters! I think I may need to read Vindication of the Rights of Women in the Serial app soon...

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prowlix
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I find my kindle time estimates just lead to me reading one more chapter.... it's only 14 minutes? 😉

Spiderfelt Romantic outlaws does have fairly short chapters. At my bookckub we discussed what it would have been like to read the two books back to back if the chapters were published as two separate biographies. One woman did read it that way: first all of Mary Wollstonecraft and then all of Mary Shelley. What do you think? Does the structure help or hurt your appreciation of the material? 3y
prowlix @Spiderfelt I am really liking the parallel structure but I'm also coming to this knowing very little about the personal history of either woman. It is also making me want to reread Frankenstein and start some Wollencraft! Did your bookclub read any of the classics along side the biography? 3y
Spiderfelt One woman re-read Frankenstein, but did not enjoy it any more than she had 20 years ago. Across the board, we were completely ignorant of these two women. I found the alternating storylines kept me engaged in the book, particularly because it seemed there was a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter. 3y
42 likes3 comments
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prowlix
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Yet another reason I'm really glad to be living in this century and not earlier! And I'm really loving this combined biography of mother-daughter Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley 💗 Recommend for any of our literary nerds out there 🤓

Spiderfelt They were such incredible thinkers and courageous women. 3y
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Jas16
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Mehso-so

This one took awhile to read. I will admit that I knew very little about the lives of either Mary so I learned a lot. However I found the alternating chapters jarring, making me jump from reading about Shelley to Wollstonecraft and back again without transition.

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AmandaL
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#FunFridayPhoto I have been dying to read this dual biography of early feminist writer Mary Wollstencraft and the daughter she never got to know Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. I'm very intrigued by women who shirk the expectations of their time. @Liberty

angrylilasian This sounds so interesting! 3y
AmandaL @angrylilasian Right?! I can't wait to read this. 3y
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AmandaL
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Here is my #NovemberTBR. Not shown are the audiobooks of Dark Matter and The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, which are in my car. And for the record, I am going to try really, really hard this month to stick with the photo challenge for more than a few days. 😳#photoadaynov16 @RealLifeReading

Reviewsbylola I've had my eye on Romantic Outlaws! 3y
readinginthedark Labyrinth Lost! ❤️ 3y
RealLifeReading Yay Sorcerer to the Crown! 3y
41 likes3 comments
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virtual_allison
Pickpick

You'll want to be best friends with both Marys by the end of the book. I would sooooo watch a biopic of either of these badass ladies.

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Spiderfelt
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Mehso-so

For academics or readers passionate about Romanticism, this would be a fascinating book. Despite being neither, I learned a lot about the period and subject. And yet, it provided me with a level of detail I found excessive to draw the author's point: Mary Shelley was heavily influenced by her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, both her published work and the life she led. Feminist radical she was, no doubt. My education is more complete for this book.

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Spiderfelt
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"I wish for you, my soul, to be riveted in my heart; but I do not desire to have you always at my elbow." My sentiments exactly! Mary Wollstonecraft nails the secret to a successful marriage.

LeahBergen 👍🏼👍🏼 3y
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Spiderfelt
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"Even though critics carped at the book's unorthodox mixture of sentiment, philosophy, personal revelation, and politics, the inclusion of Mary's reflections & feelings allowed readers to feel connected to her, while at the same time they learned about places they would probably never see. Mary's "revolutionary feminism" allowed her to transform the genre of travel writing." Thanks Mary Wollstonecraft for creating a new form: the travel memoir.

Spiderfelt I was thinking of this passage as I was listening to Sy Montgomery's Soul of an Octopus, following in the footsteps of Wollstonecraft, in which the author ignores the traditional conventions of natural history texts by integrating her personal feelings about this experience and the impact of her research on her emotional life. It is interesting to learn about a feminist trailblazer for the first time. 3y
Spiderfelt P342 for future reference #bookclub 3y
prowlix I'm on the waitlist for this at my library! I'm so intrigued 3y
15 likes4 comments
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Seonjoon
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Listening to this fascinating dual biography of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley on a trip to and from Western MA. Yay road trips + audiobooks! 😎

BookishFeminist I love this book so much. Mary Shelley & Mary Wollstonecraft are both on the VIP guest list to my dinner party with Badass Dead Ladies. 3y
Seonjoon @BookishFeminist SO MUCH on the VIP list! My mother-in-law gave us the rec and we are 💜❤️💚💛💙 with these ladies. 3y
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SuzeG
Pickpick

I'm halfway through this and it's fab. Two incredible women way ahead of their time. Love the alternating stories structure.

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Badwolf
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Sat on my cottage step reading about Polidori taking the jump.

Dr._Who_number10 Love your name!!! 1y
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gigan1972
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Just started reading.

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mariana
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Just started. Already loving it.

Banal.Girl Uhhh sounds Cool! 😀 2y
4 likes1 comment
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PlantyLibrarian

"It is only in books and literary occupations that I shall ever find alleviation"