A paperback edition makes a hitherto neglected text widely available.
The sophisticated editorial care evident throughout ensures that this will also serve as the standard scholarly edition. I share her optimism … Overall a superb edition that I hope will indeed breathe new life into the oft-forgotten Mathilda and her haunting tale. Faubert believes that the work should be better known, and this edition will do much to make it available to readers. Subscribe To Our Newsletter Name. Teaching Area.
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She has a maid who came to care for the house every few days, but other than that she had no human interaction until Woodville also established residence in the heath about two years after she chose to reside there. Woodville was mourning the loss of his betrothed, Elinor, and a poet. He and Mathilda struck a friendship; Woodville often asked Mathilda why she never smiled but she would not go into much detail regarding this. One day, Mathilda suggested to Woodville that they end their mutual sorrows together and commit suicide.
Woodville talked Mathilda out of this decision, but soon after had to leave the heath to care for his ailing mother. Mathilda contemplates her future after his departure, and while walking through the heath, gets lost and ends up sleeping outside for a night. It rains while she sleeps outside and, after she makes her way back to her home, she becomes extremely sick.
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It is in this state that Mathilda decides to write out her story to Woodville as a way of explaining to him her darker countenance, even though she recognizes that she does not have much longer to live. Commentators have often read the text as autobiographical, with the three central characters standing for Mary Shelley, William Godwin her father , and Percy Shelley her husband. The story may be seen as a metaphor for what happens when a woman, ignorant of all consequences, follows her own heart while dependent on her male benefactor.
Mathilda has also been seen as an example of redefining female Gothic narratives. An important characteristic of this redefined genre often includes female narrators having more control over the story than was common at the time.
Mathilda (novella) - Wikipedia
According to Kathleen A. Miller, "Although Shelley's novella appears to relate a conventional female gothic narrative of a young woman victimized by her father's incestuous desire, it leaves open the possibility that, in fact, it is Mathilda, rather than her father, who wields control over the novel's gothic script.
This redefinition occurs in various ways: Mathilda's refusal to name her father, her voice being the primary source of information provided to readers, and a lack of the novella ending in marriage which was the typical motif for female gothic literature. Mary Shelley sent the finished Mathilda to her father in England, to submit for publication. However, though Godwin admired aspects of the novella, he found the incest theme "disgusting and detestable" and failed to return the manuscript despite his daughter's repeated requests.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Matilda novel.
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Mary Shelley spelled the novella's title "Matilda" and the heroine's name "Mathilda". The book has been published under each title. During this period, Percy Shelley dramatised an incestuous tale of his own, The Cenci.
The Mary Shelley Reader. Oxford University Press. Introduction to Mathilda ; see also, Mellor, Mary Shelley , Keats-Shelley Journal. Todd, Introduction to Mathilda , xvii. Mary Shelley.