Issue 28, by Ruth Scurr
A Man of Genius (Bitter Lemon Press) by Professor Janet Todd is set in Venice in the 19th century. It’s a clever exploration of the themes of the gothic novel but with a modern sensibility. It builds on Professor Todd’s research into Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley and adds feminist concerns of the 1960s and 1970s. It’s the story of an obsessive relationship and evokes the beauty of Venice, but also its sense of menace and decay.
Dr Scurr’s biography John Aubrey: My Own Life (Vintage) is now out in paperback.