Contents Index

the journal of Clerval

Lacking the journal of Clerval, we will have to settle for that of Mary Shelley, who traversed this route in 1814 and published it in her History of a Six Weeks' Tour just before Frankenstein. At that time the point of departure for the Shelley party was Basel.

Yet, that we lack Clerval's journal might in context seem strange. The entire novel is based on the presence of an overload of documentary information that includes the letters of Alphonse Frankenstein and Elizabeth Lavenza, the journal letter of Robert Walton, his representation of Victor's narrative (dutifully "corrected" by Victor), which in turn contains the Creature's narrative, which is, in part, attested to by the letters of Felix that the Creature promised to leave with Victor when he finished. If we lack this last piece of evidence, however, we do not lack its effect on the narrative, since Victor here calls attention to the nature and quality of Clerval's writing.