Young Romantics

Young Romantics : The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives

4.05 (879 ratings by Goodreads)
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'The web of our Life is of mingled Yarn' - John Keats. In "Young Romantics", Daisy Hay shatters the myth of the romantic poet as a solitary, introspective genius, telling the story of the communal existence of an astonishingly youthful circle. The fiery, generous spirit of Leigh Hunt, radical journalist and editor of "The Examiner", took centre stage. He bound together the restless Shelley and his brilliant wife Mary, author of "Frankenstein"; Mary's feisty step-sister Claire Clairmont, who became Byron's lover and the mother of his child; and Hunt's charismatic sister-in-law Elizabeth Kent. With authority, sparkling prose and constant insight Daisy Hay describes their travels in France, Switzerland and Italy, their artistic triumphs, their headstrong ways, their grievous losses and their devastating tragedies. "Young Romantics" explores the history of the group, from its inception in Leigh Hunt's prison cell in 1813 to its ultimate disintegration in the years following 1822. It encompasses tales of love, betrayal, sacrifice and friendship, all of which were played out against a background of political turbulence and intense literary creativity. This smouldering turmoil of strained relationships and insular friendships would ferment to inspire the drama of Frankenstein, the heady idealism of Shelley's poetry, and Byron's own self-loathing, self-loving public persona. Above all the characters are rendered on the page with marvellous vitality, and this is a gloriously entrancing and revelatory read, the debut of a young biographer of the highest calibre and enormous more

Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 160 x 238 x 36mm | 662.24g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations (chiefly col.), facsims., map, ports.
  • 0747586276
  • 9780747586272
  • 314,503

Review quote

'The originality of this engrossing narrative comes from Daisy Hay's unusual focus on the passionate allegiances and literary influences between her characters. With great skill she weaves in and out of the lives of these poets, novelists and philosophers, their husbands, wives, lovers, children, exploring the dual nature of the creative impulse, its individuality and the stimulus of kindred spirits. It is a most impressive achievement' Michael Holroyd 'By assembling a great cast and exploring their high dramas, the author has given us a feast of a book' Edna O'Brienshow more

About Daisy Hay

Daisy Hay studied for her PhD at New Hall, Cambridge, and has recently taken up the Alistair Horne Fellowship at St. Antony's College, Oxford to research her next book. Young Romantics is her first bookshow more

Rating details

879 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 36% (317)
4 38% (335)
3 22% (193)
2 3% (28)
1 1% (6)
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