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  • Location: Bristol, Switzerland, Venice



Why a Booktrail?

1816: The story of Mary Shelley’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont

  • ISBN: 978-1035400249
  • Genre: Gothic, Historical, Inspired by true events

What you need to know before your trail

A massive volcanic eruption has caused the worst storms that Europe has seen in decades, yet Percy and Mary Shelley have chosen to visit the infamous Lord Byron at his villa on Lake Geneva. It wasn’t their idea: Mary’s eighteen year old step-sister, Claire Clairmont, insisted.

But the reason for Claire’s visit is more pressing than a summer escape with the most famous writers in the world. She’s pregnant with Byron’s child – a child Byron doesn’t want, and scarcely believes is his own.

Claire has the world in her grasp. This trip should have given her everything she ever dreamed of. But within days, her life will be in ruins.

History has all but forgotten her story – but she will not be silenced

Travel Guide

Bristol- Switzerland and Italy

Claire Clairmont was the stepsister of the writer Mary Shelley and the mother of Lord Byron’s daughter Allegra. She was born on  27 April 1798 and died on 19 March 1879.

Clairmont started an affair with Lord Byron but then he left England in 1816 to live abroad. She convinced Mary and Percy Shelley that they should follow Byron to Switzerland where they all stayed at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva. She was pregnant with Byron’s child by this time. Byron never wanted to be with her and so when Clairmont returned to England, it was decided that, Allegra, should stay with him in  Venice.

Byron later put his daughter in a convent in Bagnacavallo. Allegra later died there aged 5 and Clairmont never forgave him.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Clairmont

Destination:  Bristol, Geneva, Italy   Author/Guide: Lesley McDowell Departure Time: 1816

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