Contents Index

great monarchies

Prussia and Austria would be the obvious surrounding context for Switzerland, but two sentences later the reader is given pre-revolutionary France and England as natural referents (and thus implicit allies), a sly but penetrating political thrust on Mary Shelley's part. The defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo had occured in June 1815, a little over a year before the novel was begun, and the "Holy Alliance" of autocracies had through the Congress of Vienna reinstated itself in firm control of the continent of Europe.