Mary Shelley, Matilda

Graham Allen (University College Cork)
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Mary Shelley’s


, 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


(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, London: Pickering and Chatto, 1996; hereafter


2). Both drafts, however, were written in the immediate…

2616 words

Citation: Allen, Graham. "Matilda". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 February 2004 [, accessed 15 July 2024.]

14898 Matilda 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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