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Download Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, by Charlotte Gordon Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charlotte Gordon Narrator: Susan Lyons Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The first book to describe and compare the fascinating and eerily similar lives of Mary Wollstonecraft, English feminist and author of the landmark book, The Vindication of the Rights of Women, and her daughter, Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein and wife of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Both women are immensely important for their achievements in literature and equality for women, yet most people today don’t even know they were related.

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 thirty-eight, 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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Quotes & Awards

  • “Charlotte Gordon reunites a mother and daughter tragically separated at birth in this rousing and surpassingly readable epic spanning the Romantic era. Wordsworth and Byron must step aside to make room for two brilliant women, Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, early and late Romantics whose remarkable contributions to their time and ours lend Gordon’s artfully twined tale special significance.”

    Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life

  • “Gordon’s perceptive reading of both women’s published works illuminates their core ideas, including complementary critiques of patriarchy, and identifies the emotional fault lines caused by the drama in their lives. Her lucid prose and multifaceted appraisal of Wollstonecraft, Shelley, and their times make warm-blooded and fully fleshed-out people of writers who exist for readers today only as the literary works they left behind.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • Romantic Outlaws is a gripping account of the heartbreaks and triumphs of two of history’s most formidable female intellectuals, Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley. Gordon has reunited mother and daughter through biography, beautifully weaving their narratives for the first time.”

    Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire

  • “Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley stand out as daring, unconventional, and courageous women—in their times and ours. Appreciate the ‘heroic exertions’ of their lives and savor the skill with which Charlotte Gordon tells their intersecting stories.”

    Susan Ware, general editor, American National Biography

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • Winner of the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography
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