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Passion [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Jude Morgan

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Kurzbeschreibung

2. Mai 2005
Jude Morgan brings the world of Keats, Byron and Shelley to life in a stunning novel of supercharged emotion, individualism, violence and sensuality. They were the Romantic generation, famous and infamous, and in their short, extraordinary lives, they left a legacy of glamorous and often shocking legend. In PASSION the interwoven lives and vivid personalities of Byron, Shelley and Keats are explored through the eyes of the women who knew and loved them - scandalously, intensely and sometimes tragically. From the salons of the Whig nobles and the penury and vitality of Grub Street, to the beauty and corruption of Venice and the carrion field of Waterloo, PASSION presents the Romantic generation in a new and dramatic light - actors in a stormy history that unleashed the energies of the modern world.

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I loved Jude Morgan's Passion, which seems to me to achieve exactly what historical fiction is for, namely, to illuminate the past to the present...it's compellingly well-written, and stylish with it Joanna Trollope, Observer

Synopsis

They were the Romantic generation, famous and infamous, and in their short, extraordinary lives, they left a legacy of glamorous and often shocking legend. In PASSION the interwoven lives and vivid personalities of Byron, Shelley and Keats are explored through the eyes of the women who knew and loved them -- scandalously, intensely and sometimes tragically. From the salons of the Whig nobles and the penury and vitality of Grub Street, to the beauty and corruption of Venice and the carrion field of Waterloo, PASSION presents the Romantic generation in a new and dramatic light -- actors in a stormy history that unleashed the energies of the modern world.

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Amazon.com: 4.1 von 5 Sternen  21 Rezensionen
23 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting and sometimes compelling 25. Januar 2005
Von Lesley West - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This is a very good novel about the great poets of the Regency years - Byron, Shelley and Keats, and told from a very different perspective - that of the women from different walks of life and social standings, and who loved them. Some are quite famous in their own right (we have "Frankenstein" thanks to Mary Shelley), some, like Lady Caroline Lamb were considered quite scandalous, others lived far less prominent lives.

However, it is not a novel without flaws. There is quite a bit of focus on Fanny Brawne, who loved Keats, and yet that great poet doesn't enter the picture till quite late in the novel, and only briefly. Sometimes the novel can be seen as a little disjointed - some chapters chop and change between the characters and you have read some way before you realise who we are reading about.

And yet there are times when it is a beautiful book, and you feel quite drawn into the loves and lives of these beautiful and ultimately doomed people.

This is not a romantic novel by any stretch of the imagination, and indeed it seems there was very little romance in the loves of these great poets. But they certainly had strong women, and it is these women, and how they coped with the places in history, that makes it a good read.

As a spin off, it would be good to have a volume of poetry handy - I found that I wanted to look at Byron's "Childe Harold" on more than one occasion!
20 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen "Don't be afraid of the world. Square up to it. Knock it down." 28. November 2005
Von Mary Whipple - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Focusing on the women in the lives of the romantic poets--Byron, Shelley, and Keats--rather than on the poets themselves, Jude Morgan recreates the years from 1812 - 1824, during which time Mary Godwin, Augusta Leigh, Caroline Lamb, Claire Clairmont, and Fanny Brawne fall in love, encourage the poets in some of their finest work, and ultimately, learn to cope with the poets' premature deaths. Mary Godwin, daughter of journalist/philosopher William Godwin and early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, is the linchpin of this biographical novel. Falling in love with Percy Bysshe Shelley at age sixteen, Mary defies convention by running away to the continent with Shelley when his wife refuses to grant him a divorce.

In contrast to Shelley, Lord Byron has many lovers. Augusta Leigh, his half-sister and the wife of George Leigh, is terrified that her feelings for Byron will become public. Caroline Lamb, married to William Lamb, conducts a long affair with him, pursuing him even after he marries her cousin, Annabella Milbanke (mother of his daughter Ada). Claire Clairmont, stepsister of Mary Godwin Shelley, becomes his lover in Italy and the mother of another daughter, Allegra.

The story of Fanny Brawne and John Keats does not unfold until almost the end of the novel. As Keats seems not to have much direct connection with Byron and Shelley here, and as Fanny is far more conventional in personality than any of the other women, the addition of this story line feels somewhat disconnected and is not integrated into most of the action.

Author Jude Morgan recreates conversations and fleshes out the daily lives of these characters, creating scenes that are often dramatic and sometimes moving. His careful attention to detail and immense research create a full picture of the attitudes of the times, and the context in which these women lived. With five female characters, however, he sometimes changes focus unexpectedly, and the reader must pay careful attention to detail to figure out who is who in the changing scenes. Occasionally even the point of view changes unexpectedly--from the third person to first person.

For those interested in the romantic poets, Morgan's novel offers many new insights and fascinating glimpses of early nineteenth century life, as romanticism emerges from the neoclassicism of the past. He assumes, however, that the reader will bring some knowledge of the poets and their works to the novel, spending little time discussing the works themselves, and concentrating on relationships instead. Mary Shelley, Augusta Leigh, Caroline Lamb, and Claire Clairmont, all early feminists, flout convention and sacrifice all for love, often behaving more romantically than the poets. Carefully researched, Passion offers fascinating information within an uneven narrative structure. n Mary Whipple
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Romantics Brought to Life 15. Januar 2006
Von Helen Bennett - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Although this is an imperfect novel, Jude Morgan has done an amazing job of bringing the three great Romantic poets, Byron, Shelley and Keats, to life. I have studied their biographies and works extensively, and was happily surprised by the accuracy with which they are portrayed in this book. The invented dialogue, especially that of Byron, enlivens the book and makes it more compelling than a conventional biography. Yes, the book is choppy and sometimes hard to follow, and it is not structurally sound. But the characters are always interesting, and I wanted to keep on reading because of the inherent drama of the stories and the period. What I disliked from the beginning was the odd sentence structure and incessant use of colons after a single word at the beginning of sentences. That's the English teacher in me wishing for clarity and correctness. However, overall the book is a masterpiece of presentation of thrillingly unique characters in an age of romantic idealism.

Helen Bennett
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Best novel I read all summer 3. September 2006
Von Cariola - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I've been recommending Morgan's wonderful novel to everyone I know who might find it interesting. Despite the subtitle (A Novel of the Romantic Poets), Passion focuses more on the women in their lives. Morgan creates believeable personalities for Mary Shelley, Augusta Leigh, Lady Caroline Lamb, Claire Clairmont, and Fanny Brawne, allowing us to se inside their minds, and he manages to avoid the melodramatic drek that so many novels about the Romantics wallow in. I did not find it hard to follow (as other reviewers mentioned). Yes, the narrative shift among the points of view of the women, but these passages are linked by the men's admitation for one another and their shared passion for poetry and revolution. I was compelled to read Morgan's The King's Touch (not quite as good) and am waiting for Indiscretion and Symphoney to become available in the US.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A group of Romantics brought vividly to life 6. April 2007
Von Ralph Blumenau - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
At 663 pages this is an extremely long book - but then it more or less has to be, for Morgan's huge ambition is that it should describe the lives and complex relationships of no fewer than seven central characters: Augusta Leigh, half-sister of Lord Byron, with whom she had an incestuous relationship; Caroline Lamb, wife of the future Prime Minister Lord Melbourne and who also had an affaire with Byron; Claire Claremont, who bore one illegitimate daughter to Byron and (possibly)another to Shelley (though in this novel the suggestion is that the mother was not Claire but a nursemaid for Shelley's other children); Claire's step-sister Mary, both of whom eloped with the then still married Shelley and lived in an uneasy ménage à trois with him, even after Shelley and Mary were able to marry; and Fanny Brawne, engaged to Shelley's friend John Keats. (This last relationship, touching though it is, is rather marginal to the intricate web that connects the other characters in the book.)

The lives of these women, from childhood onwards, are told in alternating sections, and it is only quite late in the novel that one gets a sense of how they are all interconnected. Augusta, Caroline and Mary (and Byron himself) each have a complicated network of relatives, and the book would certainly have benefitted from a series of family trees, which the reader has to construct for himself. Their stories are told against a richly detailed social and political background of the period (from the 1780s to the 1820s), including such information as that the gentry above-stairs had the rooms lit by candles in the evening, while below-stairs they were lit by rushes - that sort of thing.

The women in this novel have all grown up in the period of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. They are women of great character, sparklingly articulate and willing to be unconventional. `Society' disapproved when their unconventional behaviour was too public (their parents' and even their grandparents' generation had themselves challenged conventions in their time), but the disapproval was nothing like as stifling as it would be during the next two or three generations, in the Victorian Age - when the `cant' so excoriated by Byron got the upper hand: the thesis also of Ben Wilson's new book `Decency and Disorder, 1789 to 1837'. And yet the women do suffer, not so much from society's disapproval which they do not much mind, but Caroline, Augusta and Claire for having given their hearts to Byron, and Mary for having given her heart to Shelley. Shelley emerges in this novel as having given a soft heart to too many women; Byron as possibly having loved Augusta but really none of the other women of whose infatuation with him he took advantage, only to cast them off when he had tired of them. He really was a shocker; but one comes to understand how he was driven by his daemon: at one point he says that the first thing he truly hates is himself.

At the end we have sorrow upon sorrow as deaths fall like hammer-blows: the deaths of young children, and the early deaths of the three men: Keats, then Shelley, then Byron. And the women are left to mourn. But they cherish the memories of the men, and there is some comfort in that. Morgan is good throughout - but in these last pages he excels himself.

Some readers may be put off a little by his somewhat idiosyncratic style: in the childhood chapters verging occasionally on archness; many sentences without main verbs; shifts between the historic present and the past tense; an occasional pastiche of 19th century prose; sometimes the characters address the reader directly; - but the writing is hugely intelligent and always pacey; the descriptive writing is very good, and the dialogues and the delineation of characters are very well done. The way the relationship between Byron and Augusta is portrayed is an especial highlight of the book.

The historical facts of all these relationships are truly `stranger than fiction'. This historical fiction is very close to the historical facts, and it makes for a compelling and informative read.
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