Mary Shelley: Matilda

(2650 words)
  • Graham Allen (University College Cork)

Mary Shelley’s Matilda, written between August 1819 and early 1820, was not published until Elizbathe Nitchie’s edition in 1959 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press). The story of the novella’s composition and subsequent neglect (with regard to publication) is a strange one and in many ways still dominates its critical reception. First drafted as “The Fields of Fancy” in response to Wollstonecraft’s fragment “The Cave of Fancy,” Mary Shelley rewrote her text as Matilda (for both texts see The Novels and Selected Writings of Mary Shelley, 8 Vols. Gen. Ed. Nora Crook, Matilda, Dramas, Reviews & Essays, Prefaces and Notes, Vol.2., ed. Pamela Clemit, …

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Allen, Graham. "Matilda". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 February 2004
[, accessed 07 July 2015.]