Mary Talbot

The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia
  • The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia

  • Set against the background of violence and state repression in a turbulent period of French history, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia chronicles the incredible and outrageous life of Louise Michel, the revolutionary feminist dubbed ‘The Red Virgin of Montmartre’. A utopian dreamer, notorious anarchist, teacher, orator and poet, she was decades ahead of her time. Always a radical, she fought on the barricades defending the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871 against the reactionary regime that massacred thousands of French citizens after the Commune’s defeat. Deported to a penal colony on the other side of the Earth, she took up the cause of the indigenous population against French colonial oppression.

    Celebrating the utopian urge in nineteenth-century literature and politics and the origins of science fiction, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia is the third collaboration of best-selling academic and graphic novelist Mary M. Talbot with her husband, the graphic novel pioneer Bryan Talbot. Their first book together, Dotter of her Father’s Eyes, won the 2012 Costa Biography Award.

Mary Talbot is an internationally acclaimed scholar who has published widely on language, gender and power, particularly in relation to media and consumer culture. Her recent books include Language and Gender (2nd edition) and Media Discourse: Representation and Interaction, though she continues to be best known for her critical investigation of the 'synthetic sisterhood' offered by teen magazines. Dr Talbot has worked in higher education for over twenty-five years and Dotter of Her Father's Eyes is the first work she has undertaken in the graphic novel format. She is currently scripting a historical graphic novel. Bryan Talbot has worked on underground comics, science fiction and superhero stories such as Judge Dredd and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Vertigo titles include Hellblazer, Sandman and Fables and has written and drawn several Eisner Award-winning graphic novels. In 2009 he was awarded a Doctorate in Arts. He is currently drawing Grandville Bete Noire, the third volume in his series of steampunk detective thrillers.