Great literary husbands: The men who supported genius by Laura Miller

Virginia Woolf, Edna St. Vincent Millay (Credit: AP)
“We should be doing a kindness,” wrote the London Saturday Review in 1882, “if we advise literary men contemplating matrimony to select for their wives judicious and patient nurses rather than charming and brilliant women.” There is much to be said for this policy; one genius per household is usually more than enough, and even when the creative talents in play can’t be rightly called geniuses, two is often more than domestic tranquility can withstand. But the London Saturday Review leaves one important matter unaddressed in “Of Literary Husbands,” although it does allude to this problem in the commentary’s final line: “There are also such persons as literary wives, but they are a subject on which we should tremble to enter.”


Clariel is the daughter of the one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen and, most importantly, to the King. When her family moves to the city of Belisaere, there are rumors that her mother is next in line for the throne. However, Clariel wants no part of it—a natural hunter, all she ever thinks about is escaping the city’s confining walls and journeying back to the quiet, green world of the Great Forest.

But many forces conspire against Clariel’s dream. A dangerous Free Magic creature is loose in the city, her parents want to marry her off to a killer, and there is a plot brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she discovers hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers. Can she rise above the temptation of power, escape the unwanted marriage, and save the King?
Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen goes on sale October 14, 2014 in the US! 
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