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Passion [Paperback]

Jude Morgan
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

2 May 2005

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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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review; New Ed edition (2 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755304039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755304035
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jude Morgan, whose previous novels include PASSION and THE TASTE OF SORROW, was born and brought up in Peterborough on the edge of the Fens, and was a student on the University of East Anglia MA Course in Creative Writing under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter.

Product Description

Review

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)

'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 (Joanna Trollope, Observer)

'I can't remember when I last read a book that was so elegantly and stylishly written and yet at the same time so absolutely engrossing and compelling' Diane Pearson (legendary editor at Transworld, bestselling author and Chair of the RNA) (Diane Pearson (legendary editor at Transworld, bes)

'Once Passion gathers pace, it becomes unputdownable. Stunningly well researched, its multi-stranded epic qualities can't fail to hook and seduce' Guardian, 13/11/04 (Guardian)

'Thank you very much indeed for sending me Passion. I will do everything I can for this book by word of mouth because I quite agree with you, it is a terrific read, with a most original and interesting style and was beautifully researched. It was the first time I have ever read about Byron where I could believe in his charm. Thank you so much for letting me read it early and all possible good luck with the publication. Please pass on my warm congratulations to the author' Joanna Trollope, June 2004

****[NB NOT FOR EXTERNAL USE]*****

(Joanna Trollope)

'It's hard to describe this huge, ambitious historical novel without coming over like a Hollywood film pitch: 'the Romantic poets - and the women who loved them', but in depicting the lives of four women who were romantically involved with Byron, Shelley and Keats, Morgan has pulled off an epic feat both of imagination and of research... Morgan takes us deep into the souls of these extraordinary women, filling us with admiration for their defiance of convention' Marie Claire, August 2004 issue (Marie Claire)

'This is an engrossing tale that will charm and enthral readers in equal measure' Hot Stars and Star magazine (Hot Stars and Star magazine)

'PASSION is a wonderful book - rich, authentic, beautifully written and, yes, passionate. It tells familiar stories of famous men and women from fresh angles, breathing life into them rather like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein did to his monster. I have not been better entertained all year' Tracy Chevalier (Tracy Chevalier)

'Beautifully written, with fresh metaphors and convincing voices' Tracy Chevalier, Observer (Tracy Chevalier, Observer)

'A treat for all lovers of historical fiction' Sunday Express magazine, 12/6/05 (Sunday Express magazine)

'Entertaining, well written and very informative' Sainsbury's magazine, June 2005 (Sainsbury's magazine)

'A page-turning doorstop of a novel, combining scandal, tragedy and, of course, passion' You magazine, 8 May 2005 (You magazine)

'A big book in both style and ambition: a flamboyant, confident and endlessly inventive novel about Shelley, Byron, Keats - and wives, girlfriends, babies, sisters, travels, debts, terrors, conquests, heartbreaks. You would hardly think it could be done, but Morgan has captured not just the fabulous aura of these Romantic icons, but also their human particularity, and woven their stories together in a manner that is both entertaining and elegant' Hilary Mantel, Guardian, 16/6/05 (Hilary Mantel, Guardian)

'This is a sensational story of money, marriage and, above all, high-wrought emotion... A sprightly, intelligent romp through chartered territory' Kirkus Reviews 1/8/05 (Kirkus Reviews)

'Carefully researched, deeply imagined and gorgeously written novel... Dense, empathetic, detailed portraits of each woman lift them above their iconography... Morgan brings a fascinating past to brilliant light' (Publishers Weekly)

Book Description

Jude Morgan, author of THE KING'S TOUCH, brings the world of the Romantic generation to life in all its supercharged emotion, individualism, violence and sensuality

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Literary Work 14 Oct 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Jude Morgan's "Passion" not only is a moving and powerful novel in itself, but also gives a deep insight into the lives of the three great second-generation Romantic poets, Byron, Shelley, and Keats, as well as the various women in their lives. Using a variety of narrative techniques, it moves well inside the minds of its characters, particularly of the women, to illuminate a sequence of highly emotional, romantic, and often scandalous relationships that were the delight and the horror of early nineteenth-century England, and, indeed, of most of Europe. Byron's incestuous relationship with his half-sister, Shelley's abandonment of his wife in order to live with his lover, Keats's unfulfilled longing for a woman he would never attain -- all these are presented with full honesty yet with profound sympathy as well. Only Annabella Millbank, Byron's wife, is presented as having little admirable or likeable about her, and biographical evidence appears to support this depiction. The novel is not the easiest reading with its shifting viewpoints and its wide array of narrative devices. Nor is it, at nearly 700 pages, a short work. But it well repays the time and effort it demands. It is quite simply the finest book on the subject that I have ever encountered, more informative than most straight biographies, more enlightening than most literary studies, and more enjoyable than most historical novels. Don't miss it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A group of Romantics brought vividly to life 6 April 2007
By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Literary Insight 14 Oct 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Jude Morgan's "Passion" not only is a moving and powerful novel in itself, but also gives a deep insight into the lives of the three great second-generation Romantic poets, Byron, Shelley, and Keats, as well as the various women in their lives. Using a variety of narrative techniques, it moves well inside the minds of its characters, particularly of the women, to illuminate a sequence of highly emotional, romantic, and often scandalous relationships that were the delight and the horror of early nineteenth-century England, and, indeed, of most of Europe. Byron's incestuous relationship with his half-sister, Shelley's abandonment of his wife in order to live with his lover, Keats's unfulfilled longing for a woman he would never attain -- all these are presented with full honesty yet with profound sympathy as well. Only Annabella Millbank, Byron's wife, is presented as having little admirable or likeable about her, and biographical evidence appears to support this depiction. The novel is not the easiest reading with its shifting viewpoints and its wide array of narrative devices. Nor is it, at nearly 700 pages, a short work. But it well repays the time and effort it demands. It is quite simply the finest book on the subject that I have ever encountered, more informative than most straight biographies, more enlightening than most literary studies, and more enjoyable than most historical novels. Don't miss it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A whole new world has opened to me! 30 Nov 2005
Format:Paperback
I admit to finding the bginning of this book rather turgid and hard going, as it took me some while to 'get into' the author's style and mind. However, I am so glad I did - this is a truly amazing story, and one I (ashamedly) admit I knew very little about. Now I have this whole new world of information about Mary Shelley, PB Shelley, Byron, Caro Lamb, Keats et al. The previous reviewer cites this as a story of the men, and the women's narratives are interwoven, but I beg to differ. This book is certainly written from the point of view of the female characters, which makes it all the more enjoyable in my view. His depiction of Caro Lamb and her descent into near insanity is an arresting portrayal, and I tremendously enjoyed his angle of having Caro 'speak' to the reader. I did some surfing about the main characters, and am astonished at how well they have were depicted, so much so that when I actually viewed various drawings and portraits of them, they were instantly familiar. Also, I must not omit comment on the post battle narrative; gruesomely excellent in it's revelation.
Beautifully written helluva read. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A friend recommended this book
Haven't read it yet but arrived in perfect condition. Looking forward to starting it as I am interested in Shelley.
Published 14 months ago by nacho
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard work
Having recently finished this very long novel, I have a feeling that it exposes me as something of a literary lightweight. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Scholastica
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will live in my memory forever
It's very seldom I finish a book with the sensation of having been emotionally drained, but this is precisely how I felt when I reluctantly turned the final page of this incredible... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Jayne
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting
Although the story of Byron, Keats and Shelley, told by the women who fell under their spell is interesting, I found the book overly long. Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2011 by ABC
5.0 out of 5 stars The Romantic poets and the women who loved them
Passion is a historical fiction novel which tells the story of four women and their relationships with the Romantic poets, Byron, Shelley and Keats. Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2011 by Helen S
5.0 out of 5 stars Passion - Jude Morgan
Having 'done' the Romantic poets - Byron, Keats and Shelley - at school, I was at first doubtful that I needed their stories retelling, albeit in a novel. Read more
Published on 9 Jun 2011 by pageturner
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting novel
The author I feel portrayed Miss Brawne quite accurately (if one reads her letters and what was said about her during her life time). Read more
Published on 27 May 2011 by Aeolian Harp
5.0 out of 5 stars passion and poetry
I read this book, on holiday, last week, and I couldn't put it down. My husband bought it for me, as a xmas present. Read more
Published on 20 Jun 2010 by Mrs. S. J. Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful research and writing
I read this book on the back of being completely entranced by Morgan's later book The Taste of Sorrow about the Brontes. Read more
Published on 14 April 2010 by Lady Fancifull
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and unforgettable!
These wonderful, exceptional people had to have haunted the author.
Byron, Shelley and Keats are here. Read more
Published on 6 Dec 2008 by CLynn
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