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A Man of Genius
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Author:
Published:
Bitter Lemon Press 2016
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Description

"Strange and haunting, a gothic novel with a modern consciousness." —Philippa Gregory

"A haunting, sophisticated story about a woman discovering the truth about herself and the elusive, possibly illusive, nature of genius." —Sunday Times

"Mesmerizing, haunting, imbued with a complete sense of historical verisimilitude" —Times Literary Supplement

"A psychologically haunting and disturbing tale as full of mystery, exotic foreign places, and questions of parentage as any penned by her protagonist." —Library Journal

"Thrilling and heartbreaking, a gothic novel with emotional heart and depth." —Foreword Reviews

"A darkly mischievous novel about love, obsession and the burden of charisma, played out against the backdrop of Venice's watery, decadent glory." —Sarah Dunant

"A mesmerizing story of love and obsession in nineteenth-century Venice: dark and utterly compelling." —Natasha Solomons

Set in bustling Regency England and decaying Venice, A Man of Genius portrays a psychological journey from safety into secrecy and obsession. After a troubled childhood, Ann achieves independence earning her living as an author of Gothic novels. Within a group of male writers, she meets and is enthralled by the supposed poetic genius, Robert James. They become uneasy lovers. Ann and Robert travel from London through a Europe exhausted by the Napoleonic Wars. They arrive in a Venice of spies and intrigue, where their relationship becomes tortuous and Robert descends into near madness. Forced to flee with a stranger, Ann delves into her past to be jolted by a series of revelations about her lover, her parentage, the stranger, and herself.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/10/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781908524607
ASIN:
B017QL8NHM
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Janet Todd. (2016). A Man of Genius. Bitter Lemon Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Janet Todd. 2016. A Man of Genius. Bitter Lemon Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Janet Todd, A Man of Genius. Bitter Lemon Press, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Janet Todd. A Man of Genius. Bitter Lemon Press, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:56:27
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 17:56:27
Last Metadata Check:
Dec 05, 2021 09:10:47
Last Metadata Change:
Nov 12, 2021 07:23:22
Last Availability Check:
Dec 05, 2021 09:10:51
Last Availability Change:
Oct 03, 2021 11:32:44
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Dec 06, 2021 02:08:40

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        Janet Todd was born in Wales and had a wandering childhood in England, Scotland, Bermuda and Ceylon. She worked as an academic in Ghana, Puerto Rico, the US (University of Florida and Professor at Rutgers, NJ), Scotland and England. An Emerita Professor at the University of Aberdeen, until recently she was President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. An internationally renowned scholar, she is an expert on Jane Austen, Mary Wollstonecraft and Aphra Behn. Her passion has been for women writers, both the largely unknown and the famous.

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publishDate
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shortDescription

"Strange and haunting, a gothic novel with a modern consciousness." —Philippa Gregory

"A haunting, sophisticated story about a woman discovering the truth about herself and the elusive, possibly illusive, nature of genius." —Sunday Times

"Mesmerizing, haunting, imbued with a complete sense of historical verisimilitude" —Times Literary Supplement

"A psychologically haunting and disturbing tale as full of mystery, exotic foreign places, and questions of parentage as any penned by her protagonist." —Library Journal

"Thrilling and heartbreaking, a gothic novel with emotional heart and depth." —Foreword Reviews

"A darkly mischievous novel about love, obsession and the burden of charisma, played out against the backdrop of Venice's watery, decadent glory." —Sarah Dunant

"A mesmerizing story of love and obsession in nineteenth-century Venice: dark and utterly compelling."...

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title
A Man of Genius
fullDescription

"Strange and haunting, a gothic novel with a modern consciousness." —Philippa Gregory

"A haunting, sophisticated story about a woman discovering the truth about herself and the elusive, possibly illusive, nature of genius." —Sunday Times

"Mesmerizing, haunting, imbued with a complete sense of historical verisimilitude" —Times Literary Supplement

"A psychologically haunting and disturbing tale as full of mystery, exotic foreign places, and questions of parentage as any penned by her protagonist." —Library Journal

"Thrilling and heartbreaking, a gothic novel with emotional heart and depth." —Foreword Reviews

"A darkly mischievous novel about love, obsession and the burden of charisma, played out against the backdrop of Venice's watery, decadent glory." —Sarah Dunant

"A mesmerizing story of love and obsession in nineteenth-century Venice: dark and utterly compelling." —Natasha Solomons

Set in bustling Regency England and decaying Venice, A Man of Genius portrays a psychological journey from safety into secrecy and obsession. After a troubled childhood, Ann achieves independence earning her living as an author of Gothic novels. Within a group of male writers, she meets and is enthralled by the supposed poetic genius, Robert James. They become uneasy lovers. Ann and Robert travel from London through a Europe exhausted by the Napoleonic Wars. They arrive in a Venice of spies and intrigue, where their relationship becomes tortuous and Robert descends into near madness. Forced to flee with a stranger, Ann delves into her past to be jolted by a series of revelations about her lover, her parentage, the stranger, and herself.

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      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 25, 2016
        The gothic novels of late 18th- and early 19th-century England tended to feature an innocent virgin led into dark adventures by an evil man. Ann St. Clair, the protagonist of Todd's novel, makes her living writing books like these, and though she's not proud of her prose—each book, she knows, essentially rearranges the elements of romance, danger, and exotic travel—she is proud of her independence. Then she meets the titular genius, a writer and radical whose great work, such as it was, is behind him—and she goes from writing gothics to living one, complete with dangerous love, tragedy, a desperate escape, revelations about her parentage, and, when things look darkest, a chance for happiness. Historian Todd studies the era, and in her first work of fiction, she both evokes and comments on these novels, as Ann, who is neither young nor a virgin, falls prey to the genius's violent charisma. Unfortunately, both language and plot are slow going: Ann compares the sea to a "large white hand with rosy clutching fingers bent on taking the life from the living," and many plot developments are apparent to the reader before they are to Ann, who ruminates over questions the reader has already answered. These choices may stem from the era and genre, but they wear thin.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 15, 2016
        In 1819 London, a writer of gothic novels is caught up in a plot of desire, compulsion, and revenge. Ann St Clair has long made a living writing cheap, sensational novels for popular consumption. She's unmarried and approaching middle age, but she's established an independent life for herself: she pays for her rooms and her pleasant life without support from anyone. Then, at a dinner party, Ann meets a charismatic figure: Robert James, writer of a fragment of text considered brilliant by his small but reverential pack of followers. Ann finds herself entranced by Robert and swallowed up by his social circle. They begin an affair, but, after a while, Ann notices Robert becoming increasingly paranoid and erratic in his behavior. When he insists on leaving England, the pair travels to Venice. There, Robert only degenerates further, and Ann struggles to support him. This is the first novel by Todd, a formidable scholar of writers, including Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen, and former president of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. It's an ambitious work that draws ties between its heroine's inner state, the occupation of Venice, and the torrid gossip then arising around Princess Caroline and the soon-to-be King George. But Todd's storytelling is jagged and uneven, and the narrative proceeds in fits and starts. The historical context is rich but might not be immediately accessible to the casual reader. Finally, it's difficult to sympathize with Todd's characters. Robert's theoretical discourses might be impressive to his followers, but they come across as obtuse almost to the point of nonsense. Then he becomes so grotesque so quickly that it's hard to understand Ann's feelings for him--indeed, her obsession with him. Once he becomes violent and mad, why, exactly, does she feel so powerless to leave him? Todd's work is replete with history, politics, and even philosophy, but her characters seem to lack nuance and are occasionally flat. A historical novel with a compelling premise falters in its execution.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

popularity
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publisher
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