Mary Shelley: Falkner

(2477 words)
  • Graham Allen (University College Cork)

Falkner is Mary Shelley's sixth and last novel. During its composition Shelley's father, William Godwin, died, and it is not difficult to see the impact of that event on the novel. Often linked to and discussed together with Mary Shelley's novel of 1835, Lodore, Falkner shares with that earlier text a primary concern with the relations between a father and a daughter. The novel begins in the picturesque Cornish town of Treby, a village with a cliff promontory on top of which lies a churchyard. The initial events of the novel concern a six year old girl who regularly visits the graves of her mother and her father. We learn of how this child's parents had arrived two years earlier and of how the father, Mr Raby, had …

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Allen, Graham. "Falkner". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 September 2004
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]