As at the beginning of the first chapter (1.1.1), the democratic institutions of
Switzerland serve Mary Shelley as a
foil to those of her own country.
Especially at this time, under the reactionary rule of its Tory
government, "republican" was a pejorative term. Mary Shelley shrewdly
mitigates her affront to the current critical climate at home by tying the
term to the respectable context of Switzerland. Still, in its quiet way,
the word is an affront.