I highly recommend this brilliant book about the two flawed unfortunates on the sidelines of Byron’s Italian sojourn. Both very much wanted to be closer to the man: John Polidori, his juvenile doctor, fancied himself as a fellow writer (he had some talent but not a huge amount) but could never gain the poet’s respect; Clair Clairmont decided that she must be the love of his life (and bore his child) but became the exact opposite. Mr McConnell Scott explores the complex relationships between the protagonists, who included, of course, Mary and Percy Shelley, with great skill and insight. The research is impeccable, the writing more than excellent. I have been promoted to inform myself more on Byron’s life. Heartless b*****d doesn’t come anywhere near. Thank you, AMS, for this. More please.
Publisher: Canongate Books