Whether intentionally or from her inexperience as a writer of fiction, this
is the only occasion in the entire novel where Mary Shelley fully names
Walton. The first letter he signs "R. Walton: and the third, indicating its
hasty composition at sea to take advantage of encountering a ship on its
return to England, is simply initialed "R. W." Thereafter, he does not
name himself, and Victor, following the English convention of the day,
always calls him by his surname.