|About the Book|
As with all eBook Versions titles drawing on historical or period works, Mathilda has been respectfully and sympathetically edited with a light touch. The (often tortuous) Victorian punctuation, phrasing and classical alliterations of the original,MoreAs with all eBook Versions titles drawing on historical or period works, Mathilda has been respectfully and sympathetically edited with a light touch. The (often tortuous) Victorian punctuation, phrasing and classical alliterations of the original, unedited manuscript have been recast to produce a version more accessible to todays reader, while never detracting from the integrity of Mary Shelleys original prose.Additional new content includes biographical notes and a preface explanation of the extraordinary circumstances in which Mathilda, although written by one of the 19th centurys most famous female authors, was kept from the public for more than 130 years.There could hardly be a work more different from her iconic novel Frankenstein than this powerful exploration of a teenage girls innocent affection for her father, only to be betrayed by his far darker feelings for her - a subject matter that is taboo even today and which must account for Mathilda remaining unpublished in Mary Shelleys own lifetime, to be rediscovered in the 1950s.Written in the first person, Mathilda takes the form of a series of flashbacks in which the narrator tells of her unhappy childhood in the care of an unloving aunt after the death of her mother- her joy at being reunited with her long-absent father- and his devastating revelation, which is to alter her life for ever. She writes, Unlawful and detestable passion had poured its poison into my ears and changed my blood, so it was no longer the kindly stream that supports life but a cold fountain of bitterness corrupted in its very source.Yet even after she has found some solace in the solitude and anonymity of a remote country home, Mathildas feelings toward her father seem to become increasingly ambivalent - and her emotions grow more complex when she meets and begins falling in love with a famous and charismatic poet (Shelley herself was married to Percy Byshe Shelley).Mathildas increasing difficulty in resolving in her own mind the resolution of this extraordinary form of menage a trois brings further tragedy, with a denoument that is both unexpected and moving.