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The Memoirs Of Laetitia Horsepole
  • Published: 1 July 2002
  • ISBN: 9780099422570
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $25.00

The Memoirs Of Laetitia Horsepole



Dazzling and enjoyable - why have we overlooked this extraordinary woman? Is this a genuine memoir? A work of art criticism? A scholarly bodice ripper? Brilliant ventriloquism? Try it for yourself-

Discovered in the secret compartment of a North Italian cabinet, this enchanting manuscript may or may not be complete, and it may or may not be intended for posterity. Undeterred by these uncertainties, John Fuller gives us the early nineteenth-century 'memoirs' of Laetitia Horsepole, painter, philosopher and femme fatale. Shelley, apparently, came across this formidable woman, aged ninety, on his travels through Italy, and became her confidant and neighbour. Why, the reader may wonder, is she not better known? Why indeed? That long spell in Madagascar certainly interrupted her career. She was prickly and disinclined to ingratiate herself with the arbiters of fashionable taste. And then her virtual disappearance to Italy didn't help matters. But her obscurity gives added piquancy to the memoirs which - her idiosyncratic art theory and philosophy apart - are above all a dramatic eighteenth-century adventure in five acts which reflect her tempestuous involvement with the five 'husbands' of her life, from the brutish Crowther and the dull and the rich but louche Count Chiavari. Laetitia reflects on the vagaries of love and erotic involvement, on art and men, on flora and fauna, and reveals for the first time what actually happened in Madagascar. Shamelessly enjoyable, teasingly allusive, irresistibly funny and sometimes sad, Laetitia's is quite simply a brilliant and bewitching romance full of truths that lie deeper than fact.

  • Published: 1 July 2002
  • ISBN: 9780099422570
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $25.00

About the author

John Fuller

John Fuller, born in Ashford, Kent, is an acclaimed poet and novelist. His collection Stones and Fires (1996) was awarded the Forward Prize; Ghosts (2004) was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award for Poetry; The Space of Joy (2006) was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award, and The Grey Among the Green (1988), Song & Dance (2008) and Pebble & I (2010) were all Poetry Book Society Recommendations. His 1983 novel Flying to Nowhere won the Whitbread First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has also written collections of short stories and several books for children. He is an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford.

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Praise for The Memoirs Of Laetitia Horsepole

Fuller is a master storyteller. a rollicking picaresque yarn. a portrait of a high-spirted woman, sexually curious and intellectually insatiable

Sunday Telegraph

A Moll Flanders of our time. A remarkable piece of work

Irish Sunday Independent

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