Struck down with a post Christmas bug and therefore every excuse not to delve deeper into the French Revolution but to recline with a copy of Lyndall Gordon's life of Emily Dickinson. And what a strange life and even stranger biography. Perhaps it was reading it in somewhat feverish state but the situation Gordon describes is really beyond extraordinary - that Emily should be living in total seclusion apart from her brother conducting an affair literally under her very nose (on the dining room sofa). Very distasteful and odd and strange.
Makes me wonder how much of that was going on in the buttoned up world of the mid eighteenth century. It's certainly true that whatever we novelists can invent, it will never be half as odd as what people actually get up to. I always find biographies strangely inspirational especially those of literary figures because they are a kind of vindication. It's good to feel part of a chain of mad reclusive women - except, in my defence, nothing so odd has never gone on in my house - at least not to my knowledge. Perhaps I'd write better fiction if it did... must give it some thought.