Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley never knew each other. Mary W. died giving birth to her daughter Mary Shelley. Yet both women similarly defied convention, both became famous writers; both fell in love with brilliant but impossible authors; both were single mothers and had children out of wedlock; both broke out of the rigid conventions of their era and lived in exile; and both played important roles in the Romantic era during which they lived.
Gordon’s book examines each in alternating chapters of the two women's lives. This might sound confusing to the reader but it is not. She presents the facts of each woman's life in a fascinating way that feels as if this biography is a novelization. Highly readable, highly recommended.