Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey

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Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein is a picture book written by Linda Bailey and illustrated by Juliet Sarda. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I wanted to share it with my girls. They always enjoy the books I receive, and their feedback is useful in helping me write my reviews.

This is a children’s biography about Mary Shelley, the woman who wrote Frankenstein. Because this is a picture book rather than a chapter book, there is a limited amount of space in which to convey a great deal of information. Mary’s childhood is briefly covered; most notably, that she hid behind the sofa to listen to Coleridge recite the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Much of the book covers her relationship with Percy Bysshe Shelley and the circumstances that led to her inspiration for writing Frankenstein. The prose is quite evocative, and one can quite easily picture spending rainy days in a castle with two of England’s most famous poets. The book ends with the enduring legacy of the Frankenstein story.   Read more

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Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by Sally Bedell Smith

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have always been fascinated by the Royal Family, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read Sally Bedell Smith’s new biography Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life. Much of my interest is focused on the younger generation of the family, and Prince Charles has always remained somewhat enigmatic. I remember that the tabloid headlines from the early 1990s were less than favorable to the prince, so I was curious to learn more about his life. Read more

Victoria: The Queen by Julia Baird

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have always enjoyed learning about 19th century England and reading books set in that era. It was a time of discovery, innovation, and empire building, and it centered around the monarch whose name became synonymous with (most of) the century: Victoria.

Julia Baird’s biography Victoria: The Queen is a masterpiece. Baird does a wonderful job of setting up the events that led to Victoria’s placement as heir to the throne; one can picture those dissolute younger sons of George III abandoning their mistresses and scrambling to find royal brides. Baird vividly portrays Victoria’s life, from her lonely childhood to her dynamic with the scheming Conroy, and her abject sorrow following Prince Albert’s untimely death. Read more