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A Man of Genius

437 pages8 hours


1.First novel set in London and Venice, by a renowned academic, best known for non-fiction works on Jane Austen, Aphra Behn, Wollstonecraft, the Shelley circle, Byron. A Man of Genius portrays a psychological journey from safety into obsession and secrecy, mirroring a physical journey from flamboyant Regency England through a defeated Europe.

2. The extraordinary quality of the writing and psychological insight, the exploration of feminist themes, address modern topics: a successful woman’s move into obsession and vulnerability. Imaginative recreation of London, Venice conquered by Napoleon, then under Austrian occupation makes for a strong seller; key contender for literary prizes.

3. Wonderfully fictionalized literary and bookselling histories. Heroine Ann represents a phenomenon - the early 19th century middle-class woman writer. Women novelists worked in a marketplace hitherto dominated by men. This important group included Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, and Ann Radcliffe. Inspired by the Radcliffe and the increase in female readers, many wrote Gothic novels for the popular booksellers, aimed their work at circulating libraries; the middle-class “hack” writers produced work quickly to earn money.

4. Reading group guide and author Q&A will be added to Edelweiss for reading & creative writing groups.

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