This new version of the first edition sets out to provide not only a thoroughly annotated text, but also contextual materials to help the reader acquire knowledge of the intellectual and literary milieu out of which the novel emerged. The creators of this series are united by passion for literature and driven by the intention of making all public domain books available in printed format again - worldwide. At tredition we believe that a great book never goes out of style.
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Non abilitato. Condividi i tuoi pensieri con altri clienti. Scrivi una recensione cliente. Visualizzazione di recensioni su 1. Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato. I am ineterested in exploring the works of Mary Shelley. That is why I also bought her collected short stories. Since I am used to look for post-apocalyptic novels, I came by this book and I did not miss the chance to buy it. I have not already commenced the reading but I hope that I will enjoy it. Consulta la recensione. Acquisto verificato.
First off I struggled in reading this since the style of writing is not what I am used to. It begans with a tale two orphans - Lionel and Perdita Verney. Once from a well-off family, their father loses money and his position, they lose both parents and struggle to survive as orphans. Later, they are reunited with their father's patron - the King of England and his son Adrian. Lionel has reason to hate them for what he perceives as abandonment, but soon finds friendship instead with Adrian and his sister Idris.
Soon he and Perdita also find love, but there are others that would love to see them fall. Then a plague, time, fortunes, and war change things. Will England. Read and find out.
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Originally written in Must read! I read the entire book. I did consider quitting it a few times. It's long, verbose, flowery, rambling. It's alright-if you are in the mood. There are a few 'digs' at society of the 's.
Set in the future, but not particularly 'forward-looking'. Still, considering that "Future' is asserted and reminded, it would have been nice if it actually had some sort of future in it. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been edited a lot. It got tedious. I couldn't get engrossed in it, so it took a while to read. And, by the end, it was just depressing.
I don't think I would have read it at all if I knew then what I know now. It's not poetry, but it's about what I might expect from a page poem too much. It seems written from Mary Shelley's perspective as her being the main character as a man. She should have remained a woman-I think it would have worked better. Too hard to be succinct in this review.
Moss good-day, Mary,' said my grandmother; and added, 'the child has been wild to come and see you, Anastatia. Moss made me almost fond of her. Moreover, there was an expression in her eyes at that moment which gave them beauty. She looked at my grandmother and laid her hand on my head. She took another huge pinch of snuff, and called, 'Metcalfe. I fell in love with it at once, and it was certainly a handsome exchange for the strawberry pincushion. Moss and I became great friends. I put aside my dream among the 'vain fancies' of life, and took very kindly to the manor in its new aspect. Even the stuffed footman became familiar, and learnt to welcome me with a smile.
Moss was a more agreeable person than I have, I fear, represented her. She had failed to grasp solid happiness in life, because she had chosen with the cowardice of an inferior mind; but she had borne disappointment with dignity, and submitted to heavy sorrows with patience; and a greater nature could not have done more. She was the soul of good humour, and the love of small chat, which contrasted so oddly with her fierce appearance, was a fund of entertainment for me, as I fed my imagination and stored my memory with anecdotes of the good old times in the many quiet evenings we spent together.
I learnt to love her more heartily, I confess, when she bought a new gown and gave the feuille-morte satin to Mrs. Metcalfe was 'humble companion' to Mrs. She was in reality single, but she exacted the married title as a point of respect. At the beginning of our acquaintance I called her 'Miss Metcalfe,' and this occasioned the only check our friendship ever received. Now I would, with the greatest pleasure, have addressed her as 'My Lord Archbishop,' or in any other style to which she was not entitled, it being a matter of profound indifference to me. But the question was a serious one to her, and very serious she made it, till I almost despaired of our ever coming to an understanding on the subject.
She was weak-minded to the verge of mental palsy. She was more benevolent in deed, and more wandering in conversation, than any one I have met with since. That is, in ordinary life. In the greenhouse or garden with which she and the head-gardener alone had any real acquaintance her accurate and profound knowledge would put to shame many professed garden botanists I have met with since.
From her I learnt what little I know of the science of horticulture, and with her I spent many happy hours over the fine botanical works in the manor library, which she alone ever opened. She had not told it in precisely these words, but this was the sum and substance of it. Not that she had thought the story dull, so far as she had heard it, and whilst she was awake; but she had fallen asleep, and so she nodded. Overtheway looked back at the fire, to which, indeed, she had been talking for some time past.
Alas, my grown-up friends!
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Does the moral belong to childhood alone? Have manhood and womanhood no passionate, foolish longings, for which we blind ourselves to obvious truth, and of which the vanity does not lessen the disappointment? Do we not still toil after rosebuds, to find feuilles-mortes? No voice answered Mrs. The hyacinth nodded fragrantly on its stalk, and Ida nodded in her chair.
She was fast asleep — happily asleep — with a smile upon her face. The shadows nodded gently on the walls, and like a shadow the little old lady stole quietly away. When Ida awoke, she found herself lying partly in the arm-chair, and partly in the arms of Nurse, who was lifting her up. A candle flared upon the table, by the fire stood an empty chair, and the heavy scent that filled the room was as sweet as the remembrance of past happiness. The little old lady had vanished, and, but for the hyacinth, Ida would almost have doubted whether her visit had not been a dream.
It was precisely twelve minutes since Mrs. Overtheway left the house, but Nurse was of a slightly exaggerative turn of mind, and few people speak exactly on the subject of time, especially when there is an opportunity of triumphing over someone who has been asleep before bed-time. The condition of Ida's being good was also the work of Nurse's own instructive fancy, but Ida caught eagerly at the welcome news of another visit. I was so comfortable, and she has such a nice voice, I couldn't help it; I think I left off about the pugs.
I wish I had a pug with a wrinkled black snout, don't you, Nursey? My father kept all sorts of pigs, and we used to have one with a black snout and black spots, but it was as ugly as ugly could be; and I never could fancy the bacon would be fit to eat. You must have been dreaming, I'm sure; the old lady would never tell you about such rubbish, I know. And indeed she did tell me, I couldn't have dreamt it; I never dreamt anything so nice in my life. Ida relaxed the nervous grasp, to which she had been impelled by her energy on the subject of the pugs, let down her eyebrows, and submitted to be undressed.
The least pleasant part of this ceremony may be comprised in the word curl-papers. Ida's hair was dark, and soft, and smooth, but other little girls wore ringlets, and so this little girl must wear ringlets too. To that end her hair was every night put into curl-papers, with much tight twisting and sharp jerking, and Ida slept upon an irregular layer of small paper parcels, which made pillows a mockery. With all this, however, a damp day, or a good romp, would sometimes undo the night's work, to the great disgust of Nurse.
In her last place, the young lady's hair had curled with a damp brush, as Ida well knew, and Nurse made so much of her own grievance, in having to use the curl-papers, that no place was left for Ida's grievance in having to sleep upon them. She submitted this night therefore, as other nights, in patience, and sat swinging her feet and accommodating her head to the sharp tugs, which always seemed to come from unexpected quarters.
Perhaps, however, her mind may have been running a little upon grievances, which made her say:. And where you get them, I can't think. I'm sure I never put such things into your head. Am I done now? And when you've tucked me up, please, would you mind remembering to put the flower where I can see it when I wake? Nurse did as she was asked, and Ida watched the hyacinth till she fell asleep; and she slept well. In the morning she took her old post at the window. The little old lady had never seemed so long in making her appearance, nor the bells so slow to begin.
There they were at last, and there was Mrs. She looked up, waved a bunch of snowdrops, and went after the bells. Ida kissed her hand, and waved it over and over again, long after the little old lady was out of sight. Overtheway," she cried, "and kisses for your flowers, and your house, and everything belonging to you, and for the bells and the church, and everybody in it this morning, and — ". The little old lady came to tea as before. She looked as well as ever, and Nurse was equally generous in the matter of tea and toast. Overtheway told over again what Ida had missed in the story of Mrs.
Moss, and Ida apologized, with earnest distress, for her uncivil conduct in falling asleep. It would have been too rude. And you know I don't know how it was, for I am so fond of stories; I like nothing so well. Indeed, I think the doctor will say I'm very good company for you.
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That I can tell him," said Ida, fervently, "and please let it be about yourself again, if you can remember anything. I like true stories. Overtheway, "reminds me of something that happened in my youth, and it is true, though, do you know, it is a ghost story. There was a pause. The little old lady sat silent, and so sat Ida also, with her eyes intently fixed on Mrs. Overtheway's face, over which an occasional smile was passing. The two friends settled themselves comfortably, and in some such words as these was told the following story: Overtheway, "I remember my first visit.
That is, I remember the occasion when I and my sister Fatima did, for the first time in our lives, go out visiting without our mother, or any grown-up person to take care of us. He was a very learned man. His tastes and accomplishments were many and various, and he was very young-hearted and enthusiastic in the pursuit of them all his life. He was apt to take up one subject of interest after another, and to be for the time completely absorbed in it. And, I must tell you, that whatever the subject might be, so long as his head was full of it, the house seemed full of it too.
It influenced the conversation at meals, the habits of the household, the names of the pet animals, and even of the children. I was called Mary, in a fever of chivalrous enthusiasm for the fair and luckless Queen of Scotland, and Fatima received her name when the study of Arabic had brought about an eastern mania. A long discussion ended in my father's making a list of eastern names, from which the curate selected that of Fatima as being least repugnant to the sobriety of the parish registers.
So Fatima she was called, and as she grew up pale, and moon-faced, and dark-eyed, the name became her very well. A very notable day whilst one is young, but less so when one is old, when one is being carried quickly through the last stages of life, and when it seems hardly worth while to count time so near the end of the journey. Even in youth, however some birthdays are more important than others. I remember looking forward to my tenth birthday as to a high point of dignity and advancement; and the just pride of the occasion on which I first wrote my age with more figures than one.
With similar feelings, I longed to be thirteen. The being able to write my age with two figures had not, after all, shed any special lustre upon life; but when I was 'in my teens' it must 'feel different somehow. Moreover, this birthday was really to bring with it solid advantages. I was now to be allowed to read certain books of a more grown-up character than I had read hitherto, and to sit up till nine o'clock.
I was to wear sandals to my shoes. My hair was henceforth to grow as long as I and the Fates would permit, and the skirts of my frocks were to take an inch in the same direction. Miss Ansted was introduced at seventeen. I had boasted in the nursery, that when I was thirteen I should be 'nearly grown up,' and I myself had hardly outlived the idea that on one's birthday one was a year older than on the previous day, and might naturally expect to have made a year's growth during the night.
As usual, the presents were charming; the wreath as lovely as Fatima's deft fingers could make it, the general holiday and pleasure-making almost too much of a good thing. Otherwise, there was little to mark it from other days in the year. We had remained for some time without speaking, and the idea was becoming general among the girls that the boys were napping, when the summer silence was broken by the distant footfalls of a horse upon the high road. We were not, as a family, given to explanations, and we drew a few more breaths of the evening air in silence. Where does he come from, and where is he going to?
Then, lifting his curly head for a moment, he cried, 'To horse! The enemy will be at Carter's Mill by midnight! The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. The mail from the north was stopped on the highway, but he has saved the bags, and is riding hard for London. The boys lifted their heads, and we sat expectant. There was a pause, and a familiar gate-click, and then the footfalls broke upon the carriage-road, close by us.
A man in livery, upon a well-groomed horse — nothing more, but rather an uncommon sight with us. Moreover, the man and his livery were strange, and the horse looked tired. It was written on one of the large quarto sheets then in use, and it was covered and crossed, at every available corner, in a vague, scratchy hand.
There is something in the letter about you and Fatima, and you may read that part aloud, if you can. The top of the last page. I think you have two girls about thirteen? My Lucy, a dear child just fifteen, feels keenly the loss of her only sister, and some young companions would be a boon, as all our company will be elders.
They can come by the coach, and shall be met at Durnford, at the Elephant and Castle. This decision was not arrived at at once, or without some ups and downs. My mother could not go herself, and had some doubts as to our being old enough, as yet, to go out visiting alone. It will be believed that I made much of being able to say — 'But you know, I am thirteen, now.
The letter of acceptance had been duly sent by the messenger, but she had yet a good deal of advice to give, and some doubts to express. She was one of those people who cannot sit with idle fingers, and as she talked she knitted. We found it easy enough to sit idle upon two little footstools, listening to the dear kind voice, and watching two little clouds, fragments of a larger group, which had detached themselves, and were sailing slowly and alone across the heavens.
So long as young people are at home, these matters are often simple enough, but when they go away certain difficulties arise. They go amongst people whose little habits are not the same as those to which they have been accustomed. Sometimes they come to very uncharitable conclusions upon their friends' characters in consequence. And, I must say, that I have never met with any one who could be more severe than young people of your age are apt to be. I remember it of myself, and I have seen it in so many other girls. Home is naturally the standard, and whatever is different seems wrong.
As life goes on, these young critics learn or should learn to distinguish between general and particular duties; and also coming to know a larger number of people, they find that all good persons are not cut to the same pattern, and that one's friends' little ways are not therefore absurd, because one does not happen to be used to them.
On the other hand, if going amongst other people may tempt you to be critical of their little habits, it is also apt to make you neglect your own. Perhaps you think this cannot much matter, as they are not the great duties, and as other people seem to get on quite well without them. But one learns in the end, that no character of any value is formed without the discipline of individual rules, and that rules are of no use that are not held to against circumstances. We discussed the little good habits we were to maintain, and, amongst others, certain little Sunday customs — for we were to be away for a week.
There was another copy in the house, and though this volume was a favourite, she said it was time we learnt to take care of valuable books. So it was settled. We talked no more that evening; and the clouds drifted out of sight. Old people of my age become prosy, my dear. They love to linger over little remembrances of youth, and to recall the good counsels of kind voices long silent.
But I must not put you to sleep a second time, so I will not describe the lists of good habits which Fatima and I drew up in fine Roman characters, and which were to be kept as good resolutions had never been kept before. We borrowed the red ink, to make them the more impressive to the eye, and, unfortunately, spilt it.
A bad beginning, as many of our rules had reference to tidiness. Neither will I give you the full account of how we packed. How our preparations began at once, and were only stopped by the necessity of setting off when the day arrived. How we emptied all our drawers and cupboards, and disarranged both our bookshelves; and, in making ready for the life of order and tidiness we were to live abroad, passed that week at home with our room in such chaos as it had never been before.
How we prepared against an amount of spare time, that experience eventually teaches one is not to be found out visiting; and, with this object, took more sewing than we should have performed in a month at home; books, that we had not touched for years; drawings, that were fated to be once touched, and no more.
How Fatima's workbox dove-tailed with my desk. How the books not having been chosen with reference to this great event were of awkward sizes, and did not make comfortable paving for the bottom of the trunk; whilst folded stockings may be called the packer's delight, from their usefulness to fill up corners. How, having packed the whole week long, we were barely ready, and a good deal flurried at the last moment; and how we took all our available property with us, and left the key of the trunk behind.
Fancy for yourself, how the green coach picked us up at the toll-bar, and how, as it jingled on, we felt the first qualm of home-sickness, and, stretching our heads and hands out of the window, waved adieux and kisses innumerable to Home, regardless of our fellow-traveller in the corner, an old gentleman, with a yellow silk handkerchief on his head, who proved in the end a very pleasant companion. I remember that we told him our family history, with minutest particulars, and conjugated four regular Latin verbs by his orders; and that he rewarded our confidences and learning with the most clear, the most sweet, the most amber-coloured sticks of barley-sugar I have ever had the good fortune to meet with.
I remember also how, in the warmth of our new friendship, Fatima unveiled to him the future, which, through some joke of my father's, we had laid out for ourselves. Many a night did I fancy myself master of all the languages of the world, hunting up and down the windy hills in a dress of Lincoln green. I had a mighty contempt for men, and a high respect for myself, that was the greatest of my many follies. A glowing, well-kept garden contrasted prettily with the grey stone, and the grounds seemed magnificent to our eyes. She was shortsighted, which seemed to be the case also with most of the other ladies in the room; this, perhaps, was why they stared so hard at us, and then went on with the elaborate pieces of needlework on which all of them were engaged.
It seemed to take our hostess a second or two to see us, and another second or two to recall who we were; then she came forward very kindly, showed us where to sit, and asked after my mother. Whilst I was replying, she crossed to the fireplace, and rang the bell; and I felt slightly surprised by her seeming to wish for no further news of her old friend.
She asked if we had had a pleasant journey, and Fatima had hardly pronounced a modest yes, before she begged we would allow her to finish her letter, and went back to the spindle-legged table. Whilst she scratched we looked around us. Three or four ladies were in the room, more or less young, more or less pretty, more or less elegantly dressed, and all with more or less elaborate pieces of needlework.
There was one gentleman, young and dark, with large brown eyes, who seemed to be employed in making paper pellets of an old letter, chatting the while in a low voice to a young lady with a good deal of red hair. We afterwards found out that he was an Irishman, familiarly called 'Pat' by some of the young ladies, who seemed to be related to him.
We had seen all this when the man-servant appeared at the door. Thompson paused respectfully, as if to receive the full weight of the remark, and then vanished noiselessly as before. Our hostess left off scratching, and looked very cross; the Irishman fired one of his pellets across the room, and left off chatting, and the red-haired young lady got up, and rustled across to us.
I remember her so well, Ida, for we fell deeply in love with her and her kindness. I remember her green and white dress. She had a fair round face, more pleasant than really pretty, a white starlike forehead, almost too firm a mouth, but a very gentle voice, at least, so we thought, when she said:.
The starlike forehead contracted, and the red-haired young lady said, rather emphatically:. The Irish gentleman opened the door for us, staring with a half-puzzled, half-amused look at the lofty air with which the young lady passed out. He followed us into the hall, where we left him discharging his remaining pellets at the furniture, and whistling 'Kathleen Mavourneen,' as clearly as a bird. In the middle of the floor we saw our box standing in all its dignity, uncorded, and ready.
Then it was the terrible fact broke upon our minds that the key was left behind. My sufferings during the few seconds before I found courage to confide this misfortune to our new friend were considerable. When I did tell her, the calmness and good nature with which she received the confession were both surprising and delightful. Here he poked, and fitted, and whistled, and chatted without a pause. I believe I'm the neatest creature breathing, if I'd only somebody to keep me up to it. When they had died away in a distant part of the house, the red-haired young lady left us also.
How we revelled in the spacious drawers and cupboards, over which we were queens, and how strictly we followed one of our mother's wise counsels — 'unpack to the bottom of your box at once, however short your visit may be; it saves time in the end. We divided shelves and pegs with all fairness, and as a final triumph found a use for the elaborate watch-pockets that hung above our pillows. They were rich with an unlimited expenditure of quilled ribbon, and must have given a great deal of trouble to someone who had not very many serious occupations in this life.
Fatima and I wished that we had watches to put in them, till the happy thought suddenly struck one of us, that we could keep in them our respective papers of good habits. The red-haired young lady had sent her, and she became a mainstay of practical comfort to us during our visit. She seemed a haven of humanity after the conventions of the drawing-room. From her we got incidental meals when we were hungry, spirits of wine when Fatima's tooth ached, warnings when we were near to being late for breakfast, little modern and fashionable turns to our hair and clothes, and familiar anecdotes of this household and of others in which she had lived.
I remember her with gratitude. She was a slight, sharp, lively young lady, looking older than fifteen to us, rather pretty, and very self-possessed. She scanned us from head to foot when we first met, and I felt as if her eyes had found defects innumerable, which seemed the less likely, as she also was shortsighted. As her governess was away visiting a sick relative, Miss Lucy did the honours of the schoolroom.
She was cold and inattentive at first, became patronizing at tea, and ended by being gracious. In her gracious mood she was both affectionate and confidential. She called us 'my dear girls,' put her arms round us as we sat in the dark, and chattered without a pause about herself, her governesses, her sister, and her sister's husband. I was chief bride's-maid, you know, my dear girls. But I'll tell you the whole affair from the first. You know I had never been bride's-maid before, and I couldn't make up my mind about how I should like the dresses,' etc.
And we had got no further in the story than Miss Lucy's own costume, when we were called to dress and go downstairs. The trimming came from London. Perhaps I may wear a muslin to-morrow; I have an Indian one. But you shall see my dresses to-morrow, my dear girls. This was owing to the thought of the pink silk, and of the possibility of a surfeit of white muslin.
Mrs. Overtheways Remembrances (TREDITION CLASSICS)
Affectionate as she had been when we were alone together, she was no sooner among the grown-up young ladies downstairs than she kept with them as much as she was permitted, and seemed to forget us altogether. Perhaps a fit of particularly short sight attacked her; for she seemed to look over us, away from us, on each side of us, anywhere but at us, and to be quite unconscious of our existence. The red-haired young lady had made her fetch us a large scrap-book, and we sat with this before our eyes, and the soft monotonous chit-chat of our hostess in our ears, as she talked and worked with some elder ladies on the sofa.
It seemed a long gossip, with no particular end or beginning, in which tatting, trimmings, military distinction, linens, servants, honourable conduct, sentiment, settlements, expectations, and Bath waters, were finely blended. From the constant mention of Cecilia and the dear major, it was evident that the late wedding was the subject of discourse; indeed, for that matter, it remained the prime topic of conversation during our stay.
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I remember wondering at the deep interest that all the ladies seemed to take in the bride's pretty flow of words about the fashions, the drives, and the pump-room, and the long lists of visitors' names; this, too, without any connection between the hearers and the people and places mentioned. When anybody did recognize a name, however, about which she knew anything, it seemed like the finding of a treasure. All the ladies bore down upon it at once, dug up the family history to its farthest known point, and divided the subject among them.
Miss Lucy followed these letters closely, and remembered them wonderfully, though as I afterwards found she had never seen Bath, and knew no more of the people mentioned than the little hearsay facts she had gathered from former letters. But, like other arts, it demands close attention, forbids day-dreaming, and takes up a good deal of time. Don't you remember mamma said it must be the same family as that Colonel Hickson who was engaged to a girl with one eye, and she caught the small-pox and got so much marked, and he broke it off? No one else happened to be in the way to talk to, and the good lady talked to us.
We were clever girls for our age, I fancy, and we had been used to talk a good deal with our mother; at any rate we were attentive listeners, and I do not think our hostess required much more of us. I think she was glad of anybody who had not heard the whole affair from beginning to end, and so she put up her feet on the sofa, and started afresh with the complete history of her dear Cecilia from the cradle; and had gone on to the major, his military exploits abroad, his genteel connections at home, and the tendency to gout in the family which troubled him at times, and was a sad anxiety to her dear child, when visitors were announced.
So like their dear mother! Such treasures to my little Lucy! You know she has lost her dear sister,' etc. I always wake early, so I can call you. I'll come back when I'm ready for bed.
Her hair had been undergoing some wonderful process, and was now stowed away under a large and elaborate night-cap. We shall be as comfortable as possible; I'll be in the middle, and then I can have you on each side of me, my dear girls;' and in she sprang. I asked Cecy, but she wouldn't tell me.
She was very cross, often; I'm very glad she's married. I think sisters ought to marry off as fast as they can; they never get on well in a house together, you know. Cecy was at school with two sisters who hated each other like poison, and they were obliged to dress alike, and the younger wore out her things much faster than the other one, but she was obliged to wear them till her sister's were done. She used to wish so her sister would marry, Cecy said, and the best fun is, now they're both in love with the same man.
He's the curate of the church they go to. Cecy and I weren't like that; but still I'm very glad she's married. Now wasn't it stupid of her not to tell me? I should never have told anybody, you know. And don't you wonder what gentlemen do say, and how they say it?