Daisy Hay is a writer of literary nonfiction and the author of Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron, and Other Tangled Lives (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010). Her work focuses on the intersections between literature, history, and politics in 19th-century Britain and on the public significance of the private life in Romantic and post-Romantic literature.
At Radcliffe, she will write “A Strange Romance,” a dual biography of Benjamin and Mary Anne Disraeli. “A Strange Romance” will trace the stories of the Disraelis in the years before their meeting and reveal the history of their unusual courtship and marriage. It will explore the afterlife of Romanticism; the intersection of fact and fiction; the social and cultural consequences of Victorian marital codes; and the roles available to 19th-century women who, like Mary Anne Disraeli, sought to move beyond the circumstances of their birth to live emotionally fulfilling and socially stimulating lives.
Hay holds a BA and a PhD in English literature from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Romantic literature from the University of York. In 2009–2010, she was the Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Young Romantics was awarded the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize by the British Academy.