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'Now, daughter, I’m to tell you a story to coax you into the world…’
Justice. Equality. Life lived to its fullest. These are the tenets at the heart of Samantha Silva’s richly rendered imagining of Mary Wollstonecraft’s life; the mother of Mary Shelley, and arguably the world's first feminist.
August, 1797. When Mary Wollstonecraft’s labour begins on a fine summer’s day everything appears normal, and she anticipates being back at her usual occupations before too long. However, after her baby girl, her second daughter, is delivered, both mother and child will fight for survival. In that time, Mary Wollstonecraft weaves the tale of her life to bind her frail daughter close and to give herself a reason to fight, even as her own strength wanes. She describes a life lived against the conventions and restrictions of her time. A life that urgently demanded equality for herself and all women. A life that tempered triumph with loss.
Conjuring the all too brief moment when the stories of influential mother and daughter overlapped, Love and Fury is a tribute to the power of a woman reclaiming her own narrative and passing that legacy on to her daughter.
“Here is a novel set on the border between living and dying, with a heroine so powerful she conquers all territories, including this one—and she conquered me, too. Love and Fury thrums with beauty, pain, sorrow, wonder, tragedy, triumph, and life. What an extraordinary and transformative book this is.”
—Clare Beams, author of The Illness Lesson
“Intensely moving. Wollstonecraft's intellectual achievements are colossal in their own right, but for me they cannot be unstitched from the extraordinary and transgressive experiments of her life. These experiments are the stuff of Silva's book, and her writing is as fearless as its subject. Love and Fury is like watching newly-colorized archive film burst into life—I knew the story, but I never knew the story like this.”
—Bee Rowlatt, author of In Search of Mary
"Love and Fury sparks with a thrilling jolt of electricity, reanimating the epic legacy of Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, and a valiant feminist icon in her own right. Samantha Silva’s sensory prose is smartly crafted in a dual storyline delivered both as a daring midwife’s moving account of loss, and as a dying mother’s appeal to her newborn daughter to live. Together, the two weave a spun-gold tale both sweeping and intimate. Through this prism of history, Love and Fury shines with essential truths about love, womanhood, and the timeless struggle to define one’s self."
--Afia Atakora, author of Conjure Women