Perdita: The Literary, Theatrical, Scandalous Life of Mary Robinson

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Random House Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 464 pages
This thoroughly engaging and richly researched book presents a compelling portrait of Mary Robinson–darling of the London stage, mistress to the most powerful men in England, feminist thinker, and bestselling author, described by Samuel Taylor Coleridge as “a woman of undoubted genius.”

One of the most flamboyant free spirits of the late eighteenth century, Mary Robinson led a life that was marked by reversals of fortune. After being abandoned by her merchant father, who left England to establish a fishery among the Canadian Eskimos, Mary was married, at age fifteen, to Thomas Robinson. His dissipation landed the couple and their baby in debtors’ prison, where Mary wrote her first book of poetry, gaining her the patronage of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.

On her release, Mary rose to become one of the London theater’s most alluring actresses, famously playing Perdita in The Winter’s Tale for a rapt audience that included the Prince of Wales, who fell madly in love with her. Never one to pass up an opportunity, she later used his ardent and numerous love letters as blackmail. After being struck down by paralysis, apparently following a miscarriage, she remade herself yet again, this time as a popular writer who was also admired by the leading intellectuals of the day.

Filled with triumph and despair, and then triumph again, the amazing, multifaceted life of “Perdita” is marvelously captured in this stunning biography.
 

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User Review  - danoomistmatiste - LibraryThing

A lot of good observations laced with an abundance of profanity. Bill is sending out a lot of clear messages which should receive some serious attention instead of being treated as another funny guy trying to make a living and doing on up on his peers. Read full review

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User Review  - foof2you - LibraryThing

New rule, if you are going to charge $14.95 for a book it can not be recycled bits from your television show. About 59 pages with no writing on it and 43 pages where there is only a 1/2 page or less ... Read full review

Contents

ACT B
5
WOMAN tē LeTTERS
6
CELEBRITY
95
Epilogue 591
393
The Mystery of Mrs Robinsons Age
399
Inder
433
Illustration Insert Credits 44
444
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

PAULA BYRNE has a Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool, where she is a research fellow in English literature. A regular contributor to The Times Literary Supplement, she lives in Warwickshire with her two young children and her husband, the critic and biographer Jonathan Bate. Perdita is her first book to be published in the U.S.

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