Godwin on Wollstonecraft: The Life of Mary Wollstonecraft by William Godwin

Front Cover
Richard Holmes
HarperCollins Publishers, Jan 21, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 120 pages

LIVES THAT NEVER GROW OLD

This unique series – edited by Richard Holmes – recovers the great classical tradition of English biography. Every book is a biographical masterpiece – still thrilling to read and vividly alive.

The philosopher William Godwin fell in love with and married the radical feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, only to attend her deathbed (giving birth to their child, the late Mary Shelley). Heartbroken, Godwin immediately shut himself up in his study and wrote this intensely moving biography.

True to his philosophical belief in absolute sincerity, Godwin coolly describes Wollstonecraft’s previous love affairs, her time in revolutionary Paris, her illegitimate child, and her two suicide attempts. The book almost wrecked both their reputations, but can now be seen as a masterpiece of indiscretion and human honesty.

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About the author (2010)

Richard Holmes is Professor of Biographical Studies at the University of East Anglia, and editor of the Harper Perennial series Classic Biographies launched in 2004. His is a Fellow of the British Academy, has honorary doctorates from UEA and the Tavistock Institute, and was awarded an OBE in 1992.
His first book, ‘Shelley: The Pursuit’, won the Somerset Maugham Prize in 1974. ‘Coleridge: Early Visions’ won the 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year, and ‘Dr Johnson & Mr Savage’ won the James Tait Black Prize. ‘Coleridge: Darker Reflections’, won the Duff Cooper Prize and the Heinemann Award. He has published two studies of European biography, ‘Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer’ in 1985, and ‘Sidetracks: Explorations of a Romantic Biographer’ in 2000.

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