An Incompatible Passion

Non-Fiction - Biography
154 Pages
Reviewed on 05/13/2013
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Born near London in 1940 has lived in Switzerland for over 50 years. Double nationality British/Swiss. Teaches English (EFL) in a well-known alpine lycée in a ski resort near Montreux. Has published seven books in both English and French. Enjoys mountain hiking,(twice on Mt. KIlimanjaro) sailing ,traveling,(has driven overland to India and back) theatre,(has played lead roles in musicals like My Fair Lady and Oliver) listening to classical music. Is particularly interested in poetical prose, the sound of words, the way they can be made to sing. Book awards in 2011 and 2013.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Deepak Menon for Readers' Favorite

Before writing another word, I must proclaim that, in writing this biographical play, Nigel Patten has exceeded himself by writing a classic which is a “true mirror of the times”! 5 STARS!! In the play the playwright describes the events that take place in the spring of 1822 when the 32 year old poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, his 27 year old second wife, Mary, and her half-sister Claire rent a dilapidated villa off the Tuscany coast, just before Shelley's death. Shelley, the eccentric genius, is described in detail, both in the build up narrative as well as during dialogues, painstakingly quoted or derived from monumental research by the playwright. Shelley's delicate, negligent disheveled appearance, his engaging personality, intellectuality, a childish simplicity coupled with great refinement, his vehement manner and the spasms in his side and chest, reveal the paradox that was Shelley. He manifests a persecution complex at times verging on insanity, suffers anxiety symptoms, depressions, and paranoid fears. Mary, increasingly withdrawing from life because of the deaths of several children, still lives with love for Shelley untainted. She understands Shelley and is disquieted by him, a shadow of his former self. Shelley, true to his theories of free love, is sexually intimate with both Mary and Claire who love him and had vowed to share him with each other.

The play has fascinating interplay between Mary and Claire, who also had a child fathered by Lord Byron. The dialogue of the play is powerful and thought provoking. Shelley says: “I detest all society, almost all at least, and Lord Byron is the nucleus of all that is hateful and tiresome in it.” The play opens up myriad other unknown aspects of Shelley's character. Influenced by redoubtable people ranging from Plutarch to Blake, and despite being a professed atheist, he is paradoxically attracted to Jesus, whom he describes as a nonconformist. Shelley detests the monarchy and the Church, both of which he feels violate the most sacred ties of nature and society. Conversely, he exhibits many gracious attributes, by even giving praise to Byron.

Perhaps the Shelley we get to know in the play is best described by Mary herself in a dialogue after his death in a boat accident: “Percy would save anything that had life. His integrity and sweetness of disposition are unequaled by any human being that ever existed!” I recommend this play as a “Must Read” in its genre.