L.E.L.: Book summary and reviews of L.E.L. by Lucasta Miller

L.E.L.

The Lost Life and Scandalous Death of Letitia Elizabeth Landon

by Lucasta Miller

L.E.L. by Lucasta Miller X
L.E.L. by Lucasta Miller
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2019
    416 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

A lost nineteenth-century literary life, brilliantly rediscovered - Letitia Elizabeth Landon, hailed as the female Byron; she changed English poetry; her novels, short stories, and criticism, like Byron though in a woman's voice, explored the dark side of sexuality.

"None among us dares to say / What none will choose to hear" - L.E.L., "Lines of Life"

Letitita Elizabeth Landon - pen name L.E.L. - dared to say it and made sure she was heard.

Hers was a life lived in a blaze of scandal and worship, one of the most famous women of her time, the Romantic Age in London's 1820s, her life and writing on the ascendency as Byron's came to an end.

Lucasta Miller tells the full story and re-creates the literary London of her time. She was born in 1802 and was shaped by the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, a time of conservatism when values were in flux. She began publishing poetry in her teens and came to be known as a daring poet of thwarted romantic love. We see L.E.L. as an emblematic figure who embodied a seismic cultural shift, the missing link between the age of Byron and the creation of Victorianism. Miller writes of Jane Eyre as the direct connection to L.E.L. - its first-person confessional voice, its Gothic extremes, its love triangle, and in its emphasis on sadomasochistic romantic passion.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A thorough, engaging, and even loving restoration of a woman writer whose story needed to be told and whose works required fresh, attentive eyes." - Kirkus

"[W]ith its textured background and lively voice, Miller's biography vividly restores a forgotten author and her faded world, that of the 'strange pause' between the Romantics and the Victorians." - Publishers Weekly

"Suitable for readers interested in Romantic and Victorian poetry as well as those seeking out lost female writers." - Library Journal

This information about L.E.L. shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Lucasta Miller

Lucasta Miller is a British literary critic who has worked for The Independent and The Guardian, and contributed to The Economist, The Times (London), The New Statesman, and the BBC. She was the founding editorial director of Notting Hill Editions and has been a visiting scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford, and a visiting fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She lives in London with her husband, the tenor Ian Bostridge, and their two children.

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