A Man of Genius

A Man of Genius Strange and haunting a gothic novel with a modern consciousness Philippa Gregory A quirky darkly mischievous novel about love obsession and the burden of charisma played out against the backdrop o

  • Title: A Man of Genius
  • Author: Janet Todd
  • ISBN: 9781908524591
  • Page: 467
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Strange and haunting, a gothic novel with a modern consciousness Philippa Gregory A quirky, darkly mischievous novel about love, obsession and the burden of charisma, played out against the backdrop of Venice s watery, decadent glory Sarah Dunant A mesmerizing story of love and obsession in nineteenth century Venice dark and utterly compelling Natasha Solomons Intri Strange and haunting, a gothic novel with a modern consciousness Philippa Gregory A quirky, darkly mischievous novel about love, obsession and the burden of charisma, played out against the backdrop of Venice s watery, decadent glory Sarah Dunant A mesmerizing story of love and obsession in nineteenth century Venice dark and utterly compelling Natasha Solomons Intriguing and entertaining a clever, beguiling debut.Todd knows her Venice backwards Salley Vickers Revealing, surprising, compelling, gripping Miriam Margolyes, actressA Man of Genius portrays a psychological journey from safety into obsession and secrecy It mirrors a physical passage from flamboyant Regency England through a Europe conquered by Napoleon.Ann, a successful writer of cheap Gothic novels, becomes obsessed with Robert James, regarded by many, including himself, as a genius, with his ideas, his talk, and his band of male followers However, their relationship becomes tortuous, as Robert descends into violence and madness.The pair leaves London for occupied Venice, where Ann tries to cope with the monstrous ego of her lover Forced to flee with a stranger, she delves into her past, to be jolted by a series of revelations about her lover, her parentage, the stranger, and herself.Janet Todd is known for her works about Mary Wollstonecraft, Aphra Behn, the Shelley circle, and Jane Austen Born in Wales, her wandering childhood in the United Kingdom, Bermuda, and Sri Lanka led to work as an academic in Ghana, the United States, and United Kingdom Her passion has been for women writers, the largely unknown and the famous A former president of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, she lives in Cambridge and Venice.

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      Published :2019-09-21T18:01:32+00:00

    About "Janet Todd"

    1. Janet Todd

      Janet Margaret Todd is a Welsh born academic and a well respected author of many books on women in literature Todd was educated at Cambridge University and the University of Florida, where she undertook a doctorate on the poet John Clare.She is currently the Herbert JC Grierson Professor of English Literature at the University of Aberdeen On 1 September 2008, Professor Todd took up the post of President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge She is the seventh President of the college.Janet Todd s research concerns literature and culture of the Restoration and eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Over a long career, primarily in the US and the UK at Cambridge University, University of East Anglia, Glasgow University and University of Aberdeen, she has published and contributed to than 38 books, mainly on women s writing, cultural history and the development of fiction She also edited full scale editions of Mary Wollstonecraft with Marilyn Butler and Aphra Behn, as well as individual works of women such as Helen Maria Williams, Mary Shelley, Mary Carleton and Eliza Fenwick.She is the General Editor of the nine volume The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen, editing the volume Jane Austen in Context and co editing Persuasion and Later Manuscripts.

    767 thoughts on “A Man of Genius”

    1. This fascinating and unusual novel is quite simply the best historical fiction I have read in years. This is only partly due to the fact that the author is a top academic who has spent a lifetime in the world of 18th century studies, as well as living in Venice (in our century). Her knowledge and observations have enabled her to recreate the period background with a stunningly hallucinatory you-are-there realism. Yet that's far from all. She also tells a highly gripping story that is not only to [...]


    2. An inspiring literary novel from renowned scholar, Janet Todd, is set in the Regency period in London and Venice in the turbulent years 1816-19. Ann, a successful Gothic novelist, becomes entranced with, then infatuated by, a playwright and poet, a man she regards first as a genius and then as a disappointment. The object of her fascination is a writer from whom she cannot release herself, nor does she wish to, so great is her fixation with his promise, his world, his band of London writing frie [...]


    3. I cant think of a better opening to a novel. The heroine is a Gothic novelist who gets drawn into herown story-telling and into an abusive relationship. It is set in London and Venice after the revolutionary period of the late eighteenth-century. The writing is so original and intelligent and evocative of this historical period – it makes one realise that the real horror is the timelessness of these obsessive and destructive relationships. It is uncannily modern and psychologically utterly con [...]


    4. A Man of Genius is a dark and mysterious work of literary fiction. Set in the early 1800s London and Venice, the story has the tone of a book written in the same period, with a feel of a classic.Ann St. Clair, a writer of Gothic novels, lives alone in London. She has no family except for a cousin she has recently become acquainted with and an estranged mother. Her childhood was not a happy one. Her mother did not approve of her and often called her stupid. She never knew her father except throug [...]


    5. This story starts in 1816 in London and ends in Venice. Ann is a successful gothic novelist and one of a few women that are starting to break ground in this area. Ann meets another writer, Robert. At first she is fascinated with him but ends up finding herself obsessing about him and his genius. Robert starts out interesting but the longer Ann is with him and his selfish, violent behaviors she starts seeing his true personality. But although she sees the truth she also cannot find it in herself [...]


    6. Excellently well written, in the nineteenth century style, it takes you right there. An absorbing story of love and passion with a gripping denouement.


    7. This fine book is like a midnight express to hell. As one drawn to literatures of angst, trouble, and tragedy, and the gothic tradition, I found the journey both interesting and worthwhile. Happily, Todd provides a return ticket from perdition, but this book is more than a trip to hell and back. In returning, I discovered another level of interpretation that enhances this satisfying novel with a significant creative achievement. While plainly itself as a harrowing story of a woman writer in the [...]


    8. I was immediately intrigued by the description of A Man of Genius, by Janet Todd: Gothic novelist Ann St. Clair becomes involved in her own Gothic romance with a mad genius that ends in violence. Even if it weren’t set mostly in nineteenth century Venice, I would have picked it up. Unfortunately, the execution of Ann’s story leaves much to be desired. The pacing is off for the first third. Todd switches between different characters’ perspectives at odd moments and for no discernible reason [...]


    9. An interesting conceit: the writer of gothic fiction has a horrifying story to tell, her own. The monster who has her enthralled is her lover, a man of laudanum and cockeyed philosophy. Once unmoored from his adoring London man mob, Robert, in Venice, stops believing in his own genius and descends into madness, while the plain, hard-working writer Ann is constantly attracting kind strangers. The plot is meant to be improbable, with characters turning up as needed, and there is much unneeded verb [...]


    10. Cross Jane Austen with Anita Brookner and get a lush novel that takes understandable issue with that whole 'genius' thing. More contemporary than you might think from the setting.



    11. I rarely give up on a book, but I gave up on this one about 50 pages in. The language was turgid, impenetrable, and unbearably self-conscious.


    12. I read this at the library today after my train trip downtown, hoping to warm up before the long walk to my loft. It certainly sounded interesting to me what with Edwardian times, women trying for independence, a young female author of Gothic novels, London, Venice and a harrowing rescue by a mysterious stranger from the worst of circumstances. Howeveris "modern" woman who wrote and had her works published could not string a sentence together and had zero self value? It is a strange book with so [...]


    13. For someone that reads a lot of historical fiction and a lot of books that have Venice as a back drop, I'm sorry but I found this book tedious, hard to like, uninteresting, and unappealing. I could not stand the two main characters and I felt the author didn't do enough to make me engage in their world and their relationship. While I can see quite a number of five star reviews on for this book I regret to say, this one was not for me. I tolerated the book enough to finish it but did not enjoy i [...]


    14. A Man of Genius by Janet ToddThis is a love story type of novel. The relationship between Ann and Robert is the basis of the plot. It is set in the early 19th century. I, sadly, could not get into this book. I seldom give up on a book but I did on this one. Much like relationship failure stereotypical excuses, I do think it was me. It just wasn't my cup of tea. If I hate a book I say so, I didn't hate this, it just didn't grab my interest. Web page: janettodd/


    15. I don't read a lot of wide, sweeping Gothic novels; however, this one captured me from the beginning. I felt I was IN the dregs of London, Venice. I could smell the canals, feel fear and obsession the woman had with the "so called" Man of Genius. This is wonderful writing. Thank you, Ms. Todd



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