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I jolly well would have

Paul Foot, 20 August 1992

Claire clairmont and the Shelleys 
by Robert Gittings and Jo Manton.
Oxford, 281 pp., £20, April 1992, 0 19 818594 4
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Mab’s Daughters 
by Judith Chernaik.
Pan, 229 pp., £5.99, July 1992, 0 330 32379 2
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... was carried on by Marion Stocking, and has now been triumphantly completed by John Gittings and Jo Manton. They have not much to add to the familiar part of the story – Claire’s life with the Shelleys until the poet’s death, at the age of 29, in 1822. It is in their account of Claire’s long, tough life after Shelley’s death – nearly sixty ...

Her eyes were wild

John Bayley, 2 May 1985

Letters of Dorothy Wordsworth: A Selection 
edited by Alan Hill.
Oxford, 200 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 19 818539 1
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Dorothy Wordsworth 
by Robert Gittings and Jo Manton.
Oxford, 318 pp., £12.50, March 1985, 0 19 818519 7
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The Pedlar, Tintern Abbey, The Two-Part Prelude 
by William Wordsworth, edited by Jonathan Wordsworth.
Cambridge, 76 pp., £7.95, January 1985, 0 521 26526 6
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The Ruined Cottage, The Brothers, Michael 
by William Wordsworth, edited by Jonathan Wordsworth.
Cambridge, 82 pp., £7.95, January 1985, 0 521 26525 8
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... his help was not worth the cooking of his meals. The wholly admirable account by Gittings and Manton brings out even more effectively than their previous biographies the texture and development of these famous lives. To read them on the relationship of William and Dorothy with Coleridge and their other friends is to see these things as if for the first ...

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