Review: Mary Shelley – Mathilda, edited by Michelle Faubert

By annamercer90

This post originally appeared on Romantic Circles

Mary Shelley – Mathilda, edited by Michelle Faubert. Reviewed by Anna Mercer

Mary Shelley, Mathilda, ed. Michelle Faubert (Broadview Press, 2017). 208 pp. (Pbk. £14.95, ISBN 9781554812271)

“I offer the present edition as an effort to release Shelley’s Mathilda from its readerly purgatory, for it deserves a wider audience than it presently enjoys” (33): so Michelle Faubert closes her introduction to the Broadview edition of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novella Mathilda. The editor writes with a clear sense of hope that the text may find new readers thanks to this publication. I share her optimism.

The Broadview editions should be praised in general: they provide introductions that often represent a particular critical moment and which therefore reflect the scholarly ‘mood’ at the time when that edition first appeared. Along with this important framing material they include carefully selected appendices, usually excerpts of related texts. They are indispensable to scholars of Romanticism; we need Broadview editions of all of MWS’s novels, and as I will explain in this review, Faubert’s superb work confirms this. We now wait eagerly for Falkner and The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck.

MWS’s Mathilda, her second extended prose work after Frankenstein, was written …read more