Perseverance Press 


“Wright skillfully evokes the people and ideas from the age of Enlightenment in her entertaining second mystery featuring Mary Wollstonecraft, which once again shows how Mary's brilliance as a freethinker could have made her an expert crime-solver.”
Publlishers Weekly (7/18/11)

Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft meets Henry Fuseli at her publisher’s circle of intellectuals, philosophers, and artists, and becomes obsessed with him and his erotic painting The Nightmare. When it is stolen, Fuseli accuses young painter Roger Peale, who is clapped into Newgate Prison. Escaping with the aid of a French émigré from the Revolution, Peale is ambushed by a highwayman and taken to a madhouse. Meanwhile Fuseli’s footman, a witness to the theft, is killed in a carriage “accident.” And bluestocking Isobel Frothingham is strangled after a soiree and posed to resemble Fuseli’s perverse masterpiece. Wollstonecraft’s impetuous nature leads her to propose a ménage à trois with Fuseli and his wife, and when rebuffed—always on the side of the underdog—to investigate the case to clear the young artist and rescue Isobel’s illegitimate daughter.

Wright’s first mystery with Mary Wollstonecraft, Midnight Fires, was called “captivating” by Publishers Weekly. And mystery author Patricia Wynn says, “The Nightmare does what good historical fiction should do—makes me wonder where the truth ends and fiction begins.”

Nancy Means Wright blogs: “Years ago in a library I stumbled upon Mary Wollstonecrafts’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and became fascinated by her life. After reading her letters about kidnapping a depressed sister from an abusive husband, and later forcing an English sea captain to rescue French sailors from a sinking ship—she eschewed bigotry and injustice—I figured she’d make a terrific sleuth.” Wright is the author of two adult mystery series and two mysteries for young readers, one an Agatha Award winner and the other a nominee. A longtime teacher, Vermont Humanities Council Scholar, and Bread Loaf Scholar, she has also written other fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Wright lives and writes in Middlebury, Vermont. She has attracted many readers to her Facebook page, “Becoming Mary Wollstonecraft.”

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The Nightmare
A Mystery with Mary Wollstonecraft

Nancy Means Wright
ISBN 978-1-56474-509-5
264 pages, trade paperback original, $15.95

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