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Mary Shelley, daughter of feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and revolutionary philosopher William Godwin, grew up in a house full of radicals. At sixteen she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, embarking on a passionate relationship lived on the move across Britain and Europe. Before her early widowhood, Mary had already experienced debt, infidelity, orphanhood, and the deaths of three of her children. It was against this dramatic backdrop - and while she was still a teenager - that she composed the cultural landmark that is Frankenstein. In the process she created two of today's most enduring archetypes. Published to mark Frankenstein's bicentenary, Fiona Sampson's critically acclaimed new biography, In Search of Mary Shelley, sifts the evidence to find the real person behind the clich├ęs. Fiona Sampson is a prizewinning poet and writer published in more than thirty languages. Her honours include an MBE for services to literature.Read More
Tough guys and tougher broads, gangland hoods in sharp suits and trails of cigarette smoke, cops on the take and the band on the run. Brit Noir dates back to the brutal, heady days of Get Carter and has never gone out of fashion. Nick Triplow has documented the life of Jack Carter's creator Ted Lewis and the Brit Noir phenomenon. He is joined by two authors whose novels ably carry on this rich tradition. Harry Brett's Red Hot Front tells of gangsters in Great Yarmouth, while Cathi Unsworth's 40s-set That Old Black Magic is stylish and entrancing.Read More

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