PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewAs previous biographers have, she sees Mary’s turbulent life in the context of the Romantic Movement, and as part of an early wave of feminism that ended in the conservative Victorian era and its careful presentation of domestic contentment. In places, her book reads more like social history than biography. At almost every dramatic moment, Sampson digresses, filling in the picture with background information, some of it fascinating, some annoying ... Sampson’s book does little to alter our conception of her as a passionate radical ... \'She changed the face of fiction,\' Sampson observes ... An argument can be made for that — and, indeed, for the publication of yet another biography of this extraordinary woman.
RaveThe New York TimesRoseanne tells the story of how she, once a great beauty, came to be put in the home. Dr. Grene describes his own private anguish, the break-up of his marriage over his single infidelity, and his wife’s death, interspersed with his notes on Roseanne’s case. At first his story pales next to Roseanne’s, with all its elements of passion, murder and betrayal, and there are times in the book when it seems doubtful that these two apparently distinct narratives can ever resolve themselves into a whole novel. But not to worry ... These lives are reimagined in language of surpassing beauty.