LIVES THAT NEVER GROW OLD A radical new series -- edited by Richard Holmes -- that recovers the great classical tradition of English biography. Every book is a biographical masterpiece, still thrilling to read and vividly alive. The philosopher William Godwin fell in love with and married the radical feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, only to attend her deathbed (giving birth to their child, the later Mary Shelley). Heartbroken, Godwin immediately shut himself up in his study and wrote this intensely moving biography. True to his philosophical belief in absolute sincerity, Godwin coolly describes Wollstonecraft's previous love affairs, her time in revolutionary Paris, her illegitimate child, and her two suicide attempts. The book almost wrecked both their reputations, but can now be seen as a masterpiece of indiscretion and human honesty.
Richard Holmes is our greatest living biographer. His biography of Shelley won the Somerset Maugham Prize. Footsteps (1985) revolutionized the way biography was thought about and written. The first part of his biography of Coleridge won the 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year Prize. His portrait of the friendship between Dr Johnson and Mr Savage won the James Tait Black Prize. The concluding volume of his Coleridge biography won the Duff Cooper Prize and the William Heinemann award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy, and lives in London and Norwich with the novelist Rose Tremain.