Tales and Stories: Now First Collected
Author: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Publisher: Forgotten Books
Release Date: April 23, 2018
Excerpt from Tales and Stories: Now First Collected
The theme is always interesting, and the sequence of events natural. No person and no incident, perhaps, takes a very strong hold upon the imagination; but the general-impression is one of a sphere of exalted feeling into which it is good to enter, and which ennobles as much as the photography of ugliness degrades. The diction, as usual in the imaginative literature of the period, is frequently too ornate, and could spare a good many adjectives. But its native strength is revealed in passages of impassioned feeling; and remarkable command over the resources of the language is displayed in descriptions of scenes of natural beauty. The microscopic touch of a Browning or a Meredith, bringing the scene vividly before the mind's eye, is indeed absolutely wanting; but the landscape is suffused with the poetical atmosphere of a Claude or a Danby. The description at the beginning of The Sisters of Albano is a characteristic and beautiful instance.
The biographical element is deeply interwoven with these as with all Mary Shelley's writings. It is of especial interest to search out the traces of her own history, and the sources from which her descriptions and ideas may have been derived. The Mourner has evident vestiges of her residence near Windsor when Alastor was written, and probably reflects the general impression derived from Shelley's recollections of Eton.
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