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Lesley Mcdowell - Author

About the Author

Lesley McDowell was an academic in the Department of English at the University of St Andrews from 1995–97. Since then, she has worked as a freelance critic, writing for The Times Literary Supplement, The Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Herald  and The Scotsman.

Featured books by Lesley Mcdowell

Other books by Lesley Mcdowell

Unfashioned Creatures

Unfashioned Creatures

Author: Lesley Mcdowell Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/11/2013

Monstrously good. - Louise Welsh. London, 1823. Mary Shelley's real-life friend Isabella Baxter Booth is 'disturbed in her reason' - seeing ghosts and dependent on narcotics to escape a hellish life with an increasingly violent, deranged husband. Fearful of her own murderous impulses towards him, Isabella flees for her childhood home in Scotland, where she meets an ambitious young doctor, Alexander Balfour. He will stop at nothing to establish a reputation as a genius in the emerging science of psychiatry and he believes that Isabella could be the key to his greatness. But as his own torments threaten to overwhelm Alexander, is he really the best judge of which way madness lies?

Between the Sheets The Literary Liaisons of Nine 20th Century Women Writers

Between the Sheets The Literary Liaisons of Nine 20th Century Women Writers

Author: Lesley Mcdowell Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/03/2012

Why did a gifted writer like Sylvia Plath stumble into a marriage that drove her to suicide? Why did Hilda Doolittle want to marry Ezra Pound when she was attracted to women? Why did Simone De Beauvoir pimp for Jean-Paul Sartre? The story of each of these relationships between female writers and their male literary partners is far from straightforward, but each relationship provokes the same question: would these women have become the writers they did without the experience of their own particular literary relationship? Drawn from writers' diaries, letters and journals, Between the Sheets explores nine famous literary liaisons of the twentieth century. Lesley McDowell examines the extent to which each woman was prepared to put artistic ambition before personal happiness, and how dependent on their male writing partners they felt themselves to be. She probes the consequences of the women's co-dependence and reveals how in many instances, their partnerships liberated unspoken desires, encouraged artistic innovation, and even made literary reputations. Fascinating and revealing, Between the Sheets offers a glimpse into the emotional and artistic lives of these great writers, and those of the artists they chose to share their lives with.

Between the Sheets The Literary Liaisons of Ine 20th-Century Women Writers

Between the Sheets The Literary Liaisons of Ine 20th-Century Women Writers

Author: Lesley Mcdowell Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/06/2010

Why did a gifted writer like Sylvia Plath stumble into a marriage that drove her to suicide? Why did Hilda Doolittle want to marry Ezra Pound when she was attracted to women? Why did Simone De Beauvoir pimp for Jean-Paul Satre? The list of the damages done in each of these sexual relationships between female writers and their male literary partners is long, but each relationship provokes the same question: would these women have become the writers they became without the experience of their own particular literary relationship? Focusing on the diaries, letters, and journals of each woman, Between the Sheets explores nine famous literary liaisons of the twentieth century. Lesley McDowell examines the extent to which each woman was prepared to put artistic ambition before personal happiness, and how dependent on their male writing partners these women felt themselves to be. She probes the consequences of the women's codependence and reveals how, in many instances, their partnerships liberated unspoken desires, encouraged artistic innovations, and even shored up literary reputations. Fascinating and absorbing, Between the Sheets is a marvelous read and an invaluable addition to the literature of feminism.