ANGELMONSTER by Veronica Bennett


Age Range: 14 & up
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Bennett presents the gloriously scandalous lives of Mary Godwin Shelley and the poet Percy Shelley as a first-person narrative of some power. While one scarce needs to embellish a real-life account so full of sex, drugs, intrigue and intellectual folderol, Bennett does not stick necessarily close to the truth, or what passes for it. At 16, Mary Godwin, whose mother the passionate feminist Mary Wollstonecraft died giving birth to, entrances the beautiful boy poet Shelley, who already has a pregnant teenage wife and a child. Mary’s stepsister Jane, who renames herself Claire, eventually is also smitten, not only by Shelley but by his friend George Lord Bryon. Mary, Shelley and Claire repair from the scandal they cause in London to Switzerland and later Italy. Suicide, the death of children and much seduction ensues. It is a wonder that any writing got done at all, but it did, even if Bennett moves the publication of Mary’s Frankenstein to after Shelley’s death rather than before. Teen readers will be awed at how much debauchery existed in the early 18th century. (Historical fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7636-2994-4
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2006


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