The Passions of Mary Wollstonecraft - A Novel


Bardsley, Wendy Louise

21/09/2017 | Hardback |

ISBN: 9780413777867

About The Passions of Mary Wollstonecraft - A Novel

'Eloquent and highly readable, a fascinating novel on an eternal theme – the destructive power of sexual love: how, reason and emotion, thought and feeling, have always been at war in female lives.'

Fay Weldon

Wendy Louise Bardsley has gained a strong reputation first as a poet and now as a novelist. She has published four volumes of adult poetry and one for children. Her most recent publication was a new edition of her novel, Branwell Brontë’s Creation, which was reissued by Methuen in June 2017 to mark the 200th anniversary of Branwell’s birth. The author lives in West Yorkshire. In her excellent new novel, Wendy Louise Bardsley takes the reader on a journey from Yorkshire to London, Wales, and Paris, as she explores the remarkable life of Mary Wollstonecroft. As a young woman, Mary copes with a bullying father, a subjugated mother, sees young friends die in childbirth and from tuberculosis. And whilst her elder brother Ned follows an unfettered path to a career as a lawyer, Mary is deprived of a formal education. All of these experiences combine to shape Mary’s ideals for the improvement of the lot of women, a subject she pursues passionately throughout her adult life. Determined to improve her mind, Mary reads, writes and associates with learned men of the day. Through her writing Mary meets publisher Joseph Johnson, who introduces Mary not only to several famous writers of the time, but also to artist Henri Fuseli, with whom she becomes infatuated. With the French Revolution raging, Mary travels to Paris to experience the terror pervading the French capital. Whilst there, she meets and falls in love with Gilbert Imlay, by whom she has a daughter. But Imlay proves feckless, and the relationship, which began so passionately, ends in tears. Back in London, Mary rejoins Joseph Johnson’s cultural circle which includes William Godwin, who has admired her for a long-time. Mary and Godwin marry in March 1797 and in August 1797, their daughter, also called Mary and who will grow up to be the future Mary Shelley, is born. But complications follow the birth and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin dies on 10 September 1797, aged just 38, leaving her seminal work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, as a fitting epitaph to a remarkable story.


Wendy Louise Bardsley

Wendy Louise Bardsley


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