England's First Family of Writers
Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Mary Shelley
The first to consider their writing collectively, Carlson finds in the Wollstonecraft-Godwin-Shelley dynasty a family of writers whose works are in intimate dialogue with each other. For them, literature made love and produced children, as well as mourned, memorialized, and reanimated the dead.
Construing the ways in which this family's works minimize the differences between books and persons, writing and living, Carlson offers a nonsentimental account of the extent to which books can live and inform life and death. Carlson also examines the unorthodox clan's status as England's first family of writers. She explores how, over time, their reception has evinced ongoing public resistance to those who critique family values.
About the Author
"[Carlson's] book will continue making, for many years to come, its signal contribution to our understanding not only of this very talented, impassioned, tormented, and utterly original family of novelists, philosophers, critics, and historians, but to our reading of the history of the family, and of literature, in general."—Charles J. Rzepka, Wordsworth Circle
"Full of acute and lucid observations."—Jacqueline Pearson, Modern Language Review
"A riveting and major work. England's First Family of Writers witnesses the rare mix of creativity and philosophical rigor that Carlson brings to scholarly writing and thinking about Romanticism and the larger set of relations between living and writing in public culture."—Theresa M. Kelley, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Other Titles in LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Other Titles in Literature: history & criticism