Catalogue


Queen of the wits : a life of Laetitia Pilkington /
Norma Clarke.
imprint
London : Faber, 2008.
description
xix, 364 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0571224288 (hbk.), 9780571224289 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
London : Faber, 2008.
isbn
0571224288 (hbk.)
9780571224289 (hbk.)
catalogue key
6393636
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 345-351) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
A story of celebrity, sex and literature: one extraordinary woman_s battle to survive in early eighteenth-century London and Dublin.Poetess, fallen woman and wit, Laetitia Pilkington spent her life as close to fame as she was near to ruin. Favoured by, among others, the newly celebrated Jonathan Swift in Ireland in the 1730s, she collected the stories and developed the brazen femininity that would be her only currency in London a decade later. Divorced by her husband after she was exposed as an adulteress, she led a life of precarious self-sufficiency. Through humour and intelligence _ and her skilful use of scandal, most notably in her Memoirs _ she survived on the very fringes of respectability.Norma Clarke_s hugely rich and enjoyable biography tells of a woman determined to be known as a writer on equal terms with men _ in spite of Swift_s dismissal of her as _the most profligate whore in either kingdom_. It brings to life a remarkable character, who embodied the scandal, energy and sadness of a time when literature, gossip and the lives they described were inseparable.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
The Times (London), December 2008
Guardian UK, January 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
Praise for Dr Johnson's Women:_Subtle and engaging ... represents the best kind of popular history being produced at the moment: scholarly, fluent and supremely human._ Kathryn Hughes, Daily Telegraph_A scholarly, readable and illuminating book._ Blake Morrison, Guardian_Dr Clarke understands the eighteenth century _ and she has a nice sense of character. Her book is both shrewd and scholarly._ Adam Sisman, Evening Standard
Bowker Data Service Summary
Poetess, fallen woman and wit, Laetitia Pilkington spent her life as close to fame as she was near to ruin, yet she survived on the very fringes of respectability. In this biography, Norma Clarke explores the female writer who was detemined to be viewed as being on equal terms with her male counterparts.
Main Description
Poetess, fallen woman and wit, Laetitia Pilkington spent her life as close to fame as she was near to ruin. Favoured by, among others, the newly celebrated Jonathan Swift in Ireland in the 1730s, she collected the stories and developed the brazen femininity that would be her only currency in London a decade later. Divorced by her husband after she was exposed as an adulteress, she led a life of precarious self-sufficiency. Through humour and intelligence _ and her skilful use of scandal, most notably in her Memoirs _ she survived on the very fringes of respectability.Norma Clarke_s hugely rich and enjoyable biography tells of a woman determined to be known as a writer on equal terms with men _ in spite of Swift_s dismissal of her as _the most profligate whore in either kingdom_. It brings to life a remarkable character, who embodied the scandal, energy and sadness of a time when literature, gossip and the lives they described were inseparable.

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