Midnight: Three Women at the Hour of Reckoning

Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Joan of Arc. Three stories we thought we knew, but we didn’t, not like we know them after we see them at midnight. This book takes each of these women as she faces her greatest challenge—a homeless Jane Austen. Joan of Arc at the stake. Mary Shelley in Italy, watching the water, wondering how she will face all the forces ranged against her if her husband, the poet Percy Shelley, doesn’t come back. Vastly different stories, but the moment is the same, the darkest one. [Norton, March, 2019]



Critics re Midnight: 

[A] gripping, imaginative foray into the lives of Austen, Shelley, and Joan of Arc, as each faced a life-altering event. This book gives us the compelling stories we’ve always wished they’d recorded: Austen accepting an eligible man’s marriage proposal, only to withdraw it; Shelley writing Frankenstein as her life careened out of control; and Joan of Arc’s thoughts, in and beyond the flames.

—Devoney Looser, Foundation Professor of English at Arizona State University and author of The Making of Jane Austen

 "Victoria Shorr’s Midnight is a flamboyant display of empathy and wit. Written with a novelist’s narrative flair and a biographer’s factual command, Shorr recreates and reassesses the lives of Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, and Joan of Art at the hour of their reckoning.  A deft, vivid, first-rate read which delights and informs on every bold page.

—John Lahr, Tennessee Williams, Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh etc.