Contents Index

no longer that happy creature

Elizabeth's sudden plunge into a maturity born of despondency was indicated in the last chapter of Volume 1 (1.7.8). Not events per se, but their impact on characters' perceptions give Mary Shelley's novel its dynamic momentum. In this focus on the integrity of mental phenomena for good or ill -- concerns likewise at this time governing the productions of both Lord Byron (Manfred) and Percy Bysshe Shelley ("Mont Blanc" and Prometheus Unbound) -- one senses Mary Shelley's equal participation in the intellectual vibrancy of that 1816 summer.