By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Initially released in 1823, Valperga is perhaps Mary Shelley's such a lot ignored novel. Set in 14th-century Italy, it represents a merging of old romance and the literature of sentiment. Incorporating exciting feminist parts, this soaking up novel indicates Shelley as a posh and intellectually astute philosopher.
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Extra info for Valperga, or, The life and adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca
5 Similarly, while Shelley begins by acknowledging the ''public histories" of various male historians, at the end she claims that her history is based on "the private chronicles'' of Euthanasia chronicles that no more exist than the character herself, whose very "name [has] perished" (3223). Shelley's parentage furnishes a complex series of pretexts for her own varied writing career. Her father was not only the author of Political Justice but also of histories, biographies, science fiction and historical novels that explain Shelley's own fascination with these genres.
The essay is, in his own favourite word, an "experiment" with the relationship between history and romance, structured as a series of provocations. As an experiment, its results can be known only through its effect as a ''genuine praxis" upon its readers (367). As we shall see, Shelley's use of counterfactuals is rigorously Godwinian. But while she tempers individual idealism by enclosing it within the necessity of general history, it is the individual element that Godwin highlights in his editing of the text.
Broadview Press is grateful to Professor Eugene Benson for advice on editorial matters for the Broadview Literary Texts series. Text design and composition by George Kirkpatrick PRINTED IN CANADA Page 5 Contents Introduction 7 Life and Background 7 Valperga, Mathilda, and Percy Shelley 14 Godwin, Leibniz, and "Possible Worlds" 18 "Wollstonecraft," Euthanasia, and Beatrice 22 Valperga and Italian History 26 Castruccio 32 Mary Shelley: A Chronology 43 Chronology of Historical Events Relevant to Valperga 47 A Note on the Text and Acknowledgements 50 Valperga 55 Notes 443 Appendix A: From Godwin's "Of History and Romance" 469 Appendix B: From Machiavelli's Life of Castruccio 475 Appendix C: Extract from Draft Manuscript 479 Appendix D: From Sismondi's History of the Italian Republics of the Middle Ages, II: 11012 (translation Rajan) 482 Appendix E: Reviews of Valperga 484 1.
Valperga, or, The life and adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley