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Book Title: The Pilgrims|
The author of the book: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Edition: Jazzybee Verlag
Date of issue: November 14th 2015
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 390 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.2
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This is the second Mary Shelley anthology to be published in the Hesperus Classics series. The first one, built around the eerie supernatural tale Transformation, emphasized the eclecticism of Shelley's fantastic fiction, from the diablerie of the title tale to the proto-scifi of "The Mortal Immortal" (see review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ).
On the other hand, all the five stories in this collection fall squarely within the classic "Gothic" genre, sharing such familiar tropes as decaying castles/towers, family feuds, mistaken identities, lovelorn maidens, forbidding atmospheric conditions (storms, mists and rain keep the weatherman busy) and protagonists prone to fainting at every unexpected twist of the plot. The first three stories: "The Pilgrims", "The Dream" and "The False Rhyme" also share a medieval, chivalric setting and deliberately archaic dialogue which makes them come across as the literary equivalent of Pre-Raphaelite paintings.
But there are deeper concerns at work here than just the telling of a good tale. As novelist Kamila Shamsie points out in her insightful foreword, all the stories share a theme very close to Shelley's heart - the uncomfortable triangle between father, daughter and lover. It is only natural to draw a parallel with the life-story of the author herself - young Mary had incurred the wrath of a father she greatly loved when she eloped with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. With this context in mind, it is hard not to be moved by these works, particularly the poignant "The Mourner" which brings the volume to an emotionally shattering close.
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Read information about the authorMary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.
Mary Shelley was taken seriously as a writer in her own lifetime, though reviewers often missed the political edge to her novels. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until 1989, when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley's letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published.
The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley's son and daughter-in-law to "Victorianise" her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest. Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley's works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression.
The eclipse of Mary Shelley's reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that. In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley's recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy's death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: "I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea". Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal.
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