Contents Index

wild and enthusiastic imagination

This encomium to Henry Clerval touches virtually all the thematic stops invoked by the novel in its representation of an ideal character, with terms already enveloped with multiple associations. Although any single one in excess might reveal a flaw productive of personal and social difficulties, in Clerval they reside in a perfect dynamic and dialectical balance. Where earlier critics associate Clerval with Percy Bysshe Shelley, this passage would be taken as a loving tribute to him.