Queen of the Wits

A Life of Laetitia Pilkington

Norma Clarke
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A story of celebrity, sex and literature 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 .

Author bio:

Norma Clarke is Professor of English Literature at Kingston University. She is the author of Ambitious Heights, Dr Johnson's Women and The Rise and Fall of the Woman of Letters. She has also published several novels for children. She lives in London.

Category: Literary fiction
ISBN: 9780571224296
Edition No: 1
Publisher: Faber
Imprint: Faber Fiction
Pub Date: February 2009
Page Extent: 352
Format: Book
Age: 0 - 0
Subject: Literary fiction