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Undiscovered until now, this is based on the true story of the life and loves of the leading woman poet, Letitia E. Landon, a contemporary of Shelley, Byron and Edward Bulwer Lytton, and decribes her moving in circles that brought intimate contact with and knowledge of the famous such as The Duke of Wellington, Lord Melbourne, Benjamin Disraeli and Daniel Maclise, the painter. This book uses a plethora of authenticated material only recently discovered and collated by the present- day author who is a direct lineal descendant of L.E.L, and who feels a very strong empathy toward her. Letitia E. Landon, known in her day as 'The Female Byron' was one of the most sought-after writers in the late Regency period. Amazingly, the hand of this poetess and Sappho of her time, seems now still to guide the writer as he describes the events of her dramatic, lustful and yet sadly short life. She had indeed such powers when alive since she even predicted details of her own death but cleverly disguised them within another's, for 'Disguise was her delight, and delight her greatest sorrow.' We are shown an endearing character, talented, beautiful and bewitching, who was tragically cut down at the height of her powers and in her youth whilst living in Africa, by a vicious and evil mulatto murderess, the mistress of her husband the 'Governor' of the Gold Coast who used mysterious native means to bring about her demise.
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Michael Gorman is to be congratulated upon a totally gripping, rich and torrid tale; I was unable to put it down, save for my siesta and even then, the dear lady invaded my dreams. I was especially intrigued by the use of the first person singular of the narration and its extension to the recent deceased commenting upon her own funeral. The volume is liberally decorated with beautiful illustration relating to the life and times of L.E.L. We are indebted to MG for bringing Lelita Landon so vividly to life, back from the obscurity to which she had so unjustly been consigned. --By Francis ConnorAbout the Author:
Having been born in New Zealand to an interesting family with important literary connections, the Author was educated at Waihi Prep School and Christ's College, Christchurch. Growing up in the delightful countryside that has become immortalised through the films about Tolkein's 'Lord of The Rings', Michael Gorman has now resided in Japan for many years, also working in Melbourne, London and Tokyo. He was instrumental, personally, in initiating the first sister-city link between New Zealand and Japan which was connecting his birthtown of Christchurch and the Japanese city of Kurashiki. He is indeed avant-garde in that he instituted this as early as 1968. Michael speaks fluent Japanese and is a specialist dealer of ancient Chinese, and Japanese Ceramics and also Buddhist sculpture and antiquities. In his professional approach as newspaper art columnist for the Japan Times and Yomiuri Shimbun, he has a broad and extensive repertoire of historical and current knowledge of events. In the literary sense, Michael has also developed his skills, honing in particular his ability as a published historian and novelist. Within this novel, which is based on fact, he uses both of these skills combined to write a very well researched book about his own famous ancestor, L.E.L. Hobbies include travel to China, Central and South East Asia including Mongolia, and he delights in looking after cats, beautiful women, cooking, and classical music. On the lighter side, he imbibes red wine, smokes thirty a day and enjoys a convivial evening with friends when the air is filled with laughter and friendship.
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