‘On This Day’, Fictionalising 1816: A Treacherous Likeness

By Anna Mercer

treacherouslikeness copy

Lynn Shepherd is the author of A Treacherous Likeness, a fictionalisation of the lives of the Shelleys. The novel was one of Kirkus Reviews’ 100 Best Fiction Books for 2013, and a BBC History magazine historical novel for that year.

Today for the ‘On This Day’ series we include an extract from Lynn Shepherd’s novel to mark 200 years since the 3rd May 1816, the day when Percy Bysshe Shelley left for the continent with Mary Godwin (later Shelley) and Claire Clairmont. This journey was the start of their second expedition to Europe, and would lead to the infamous summer spent by Lake Geneva with Lord Byron.

The story of A Treacherous Likeness includes an account the summer of 1816, in the form of a ‘long lost’ journal written by Claire. The following is an edited extract of that section of the novel, which has been reproduced by kind permission of Penguin Random House and Constable & Robinson.

Fictionalising 1816: A Treacherous Likeness by Lynn Shepherd

I do not remember, now, what first led us to talk of ghosts. No one could have known what would eventually come of it, and in any case it was entirely natural that our thoughts …read more

Source:: http://www.bars.ac.uk/blog/?p=1176