How wonderful that the authors Robert Gittings and Jo Manton have written the biography of this remarkable woman. Most people vaguely remember her name as Mary Shelley's stepsister and Byron's mistress and mother of his daughter Allegra, but Claire Clairmont was so much more then that. Born Jane Clairmont she chose to change it to Claire because it means light, this woman lived on her own terms at a time when most women did not dare to even contemplate such a lifestyle. A talented and brave woman who lived, loved, and dreamed of a better world for men and women alike, drifting around 19th-century Europe.
This beautifully written biography is drawing on her letters and journals that have long been out of print and are almost impossible to find, and presents her tempestuous relationship with Lord Byron, the tragedy of her daughter's death, her association with the Shelleys and her later years in Italy. Claire Clairmont was a fascinating woman who lived a fascinating life, overshadowed by the larger then life personalities that surrounded her, and almost entirely forgotten today. But her memory deserved so much more then that, she deserved her story to be told and this biography does exactly that, indeed rescuing her from oblivion, it introduces to contemporary and future readers Claire Clairmont.