Wednesday, June 12–Shelf Control time again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile and write a post about it–when and where you got it, what makes you want to read it, and such. Link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks!

This month, as I mentioned last week also, I don’t have a specific reading theme and am only catching up with books I have left over from my TBRs for the past couple of months. So for Shelf Control, too I am simply picking random books to feature from my TBR shelf. This week’s pick as you can see from the cover is Passion (2004) by Jude Morgan.

Images: Shelley, Keats, and Byron.

Historical fiction once again, this one is set in the years of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, and around the lives of three romantic poets–Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and John Keats. The three come in to prominence, becoming famous or infamous for their lives as much as for their works. This book explores their stories through the stories of four women in their lives–the gifted Mary Shelley, aristocratic Lady Caroline Lamb, quiet Fanny Brawne, and Augusta Leigh–who themselves flout many conventions in loving them. Told from different perspectives, the book explores the intense tempestuous lives of these men and women, and at 663 pages (Review books 2004) is quite the tome.

Images: (clockwise) Mary Shelley, Caroline Lamb, Fanny Brawne, and Augusta Leigh

Jude Morgan was born and brought up in Peterborough on the edge of the Fens, and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Among his books are The Secret Life of William Shakespeare (2014), The King’s Touch (2003) focusing on Charles II, and Symphony (2007) about composer Hector Belioz.

Last year, I was reading The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice, a book set in 1950s England (which reminded me very much of I Capture the Castle, and which I very much enjoyed; review here). Anyway, at the back of the book was a description of Passion, a book I’d not heard of before but reading the blurb I knew this was one I wanted to read. So I looked it up online and ordered a copy (second hand) as soon as it showed up.

Having just read a bio of the Shelleys in graphic novel form (reviews here and here), and enjoyed poems and other writings by Shelley, Keats, and Byron, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, at different times, this is of course a book I am very much looking forward to reading. Once again, I would love to see how the author has recreated the time at Villa Diodati where Frankenstein was created. I have never read anything by Morgan before nor any serious account of these three poets’ lives, other than bits and pieces here and there, so this would also be a chance for me to get a picture of their lives.

Villa Diodati
via wikimedia commons

Have you read this book before or anything else by this author? How did you like it? If you haven’t, would you want to read it? Any favourite poems or writings of Keats, Byron, and/or Shelley? Looking forward to your thoughts!

The descriptions of the book are from Goodreads and the blurb at the back of the book; of Morgan from Goodreads, and all images are from wikimedia commons.

8 thoughts on “Shelf Control #48: Passion by Jude Morgan

    1. This author is new to me as well and honestly, I wouldn’t have even realised this book existed if it hadn’t been featured on the back of this other book. I haven’t seen any of my GR friends mention him either (so far).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it? This isn’t focused on the Villa Diodati phase alone but a broader telling of their lives. The Frankenstein episode is just one that I’m interested in reading the most. I picked up The Monsters We Deserve thinking it would deal with that episode but it didn’t at all and the graphic novel had its version, but I’d still like to read a good recreation. Which is the book you have?


      1. A Single Summer with L. B. (Lord Byron, of course) by Derek Marlowe was recommended by a fellow blogger and I spotted a secondhand copy going cheap online, though I’ve yet to read it. I gather it uses many letters verbatim to imagine conversations between the Diodati party. I’ve also got The Monsters We Deserve to read some time, but not sure which one to go for first.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Marlowe sounds like it does recreate that period. Monsters doesn’t go there in that sense, but just into the mental process of authors creating monsters, and such.

        Liked by 1 person

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