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Sidetracks

Sidetracks by Richard Holmes
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In this beautiful reissue, the author of 'Footsteps' collects the biographical curiosities he discovered while researching the romantic poets, creating a captivating mixture of biography and memoir.

‘Sidetracks' is a sister book to 'Footsteps', conjured up from decades of 'wanderings from the straight and narrow' of his major biographies of Shelley and Coleridge. As Holmes himself says, 'to be sidetracked is, after all, to be led astray by a path or an idea, a scent or a tune, and maybe lost forever.'

The centerpiece of the book is the poignant, inspiring story of Mary Woolstonecraft, the great feminist crusader and philosopher and her husband, William Godwin. But 'Sidetracks' winds through an extraordinary and eclectic assortment of Romantic and Gothic writers and personalities, all made hypnotically alive through Holmes's transforming touch. We meet Chatterton and Gautier, Pierrot and Voltaire, Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda, James Boswell and Zelide, MR James and some very unpleasant gothic apparitions.

'Sidetracks' is a renewed examination of the strange and sometimes shadowy pathways of biography.

HarperCollins Publishers; November 2011
432 pages; ISBN 9780007380312
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Title: Sidetracks
Author: Richard Holmes
 
ISBNs
9780007204540
9780007380312