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The Godwins and the Shelleys: A Biography of a Family
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The Godwins and the Shelleys: A Biography of a Family

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  32 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Much more than the biography of a family. It is in large measure the biography of an era . . . The reader comes away with the feeling that he has witnessed a panorama of intellectual history which transcends the records of individual failures and weaknesses.
Paperback, 600 pages
Published June 1st 1991 by Johns Hopkins University Press (first published October 24th 1989)
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Melinda Jane Harrison
Hmmm. This is by all accounts, a study of William Godwin. I enjoyed it a great deal, not only for what it said, but what it did not say, the subtext that can often be found in a biography by looking at the total group of people. For example, what does it say of Mary Shelley, his daughter, or his thoughts on marriage and why he married, and what hope did he experience on meeting Percy Shelley and how were those hopes soon scattered by his own daughter? These are questions that this biography rais ...more
Margaret
Frankly, I think the title is a misnomer; a more accurate title would be William Godwin and His Family. Despite the pictures of Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and Percy Bysshe Shelley on the cover, the book is really about Godwin and sees the others mainly in relation to him; even Wollstonecraft gets only one chapter covering her entire life up to her relationship with Godwin.

With that said, this is a very good biography of Godwin, with much insight into his character, his relations
...more
Jessica
Oct 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This is a fantastic look at the lives of the Godwins and the Shelleys - or, more specifically, William Godwin and Percy Bysshe Shelley. I personally would have preferred more on Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, but there are other books on those subjects. This is thorough, but extremely engaging and readable.
Madeleine McLaughlin
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, biography
A insightful and welcome read about the Godwins and and Shelleys told through the bio of William Godwin. Follows his childhood influences and growth, peak and fall as a successful writer. Of course, Mary Woollstencraft and Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley are there, too. Lots of new info for anyone who knows much about them, all new for people who know nothing. Great way to learn about them.
Anne Strobridge
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Want to know the context in which the seeds of the great Romantic rebellion took root? This is the book. Masterful synthesis of all the high ideals of a volatile age, centered on William Godwin.
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