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My letter was calm and affectionate

A less calming letter could scarcely have been written to a fiancée who had not heard from her lover for the better part of two years. Perhaps, Mary Shelley writes with her tongue in her cheek, wishing to stress the strange air of unreality that has become habitual by now with Victor. His idea of "perfect confidence," after all, is to let on that he has a "dreadful" secret and then to require that Elizabeth not ask him a word about it. The irony is lost on him, though one assumes not on the reader. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, she, indeed, never questions him about his odd revelation.