Falkner: A Novel, Volume 7

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W. Pickering, 1996 - Fiction - 301 pages
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Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1837. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XIII. "At last I became aware that the wheels of the carriage passed through water. Hope revived with the thought. The hut where Osborne was to stop, was to the south of the river we were now crossing; the tide was ebbing, and despite the wind and storm, we passed the ford in safety; a moment more, and the carriage stopped amidst the sands. I took the unfortunate lady in my arms, and carried her into the hut; then fetching the cushions of the carriage, I bade Osborne take the horses on to a covered shed about half a mile off, which he had prepared for them, and return immediately. "I re-entered the hut--still Alithea lay motionless on the ground where I had placed her. The lightning showed me her pale face; and another flash permitted me to discover a portion of luggage brought here by Osborne--necessary if we fled. Among other things which, soldier-like, I always carried with me, I saw my canteen; it contained the implements for striking a light, and tapers. By such means I could at last discover that my victim still lived; and sometimes also she groaned and sighed heavily. What had happened to her I could not tell, nor by what means consciousness might be restored. I chafed her head and hands in spirituous waters; I made her swallow some---in vain. For a moment she somewhat revived, but relapsed again; and the icy cold of her hands and feet seemed to portend instant dissolution. Osborne returned, as I had ordered; he was totally unaware of the'state to which my devilish machinations had brought my victim. He found me hanging over her--calling her by every endearing name--chafing her hands in mine--watching in torture for such signs of returning sense as would assure me that I was not about to see her expire before my eyes. He was scared by what he saw; but I silenced him, ...

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About the author (1996)

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born in England on August 30, 1797. Her parents were two celebrated liberal thinkers, William Godwin, a social philosopher, and Mary Wollstonecraft, a women's rights advocate. Eleven days after Mary's birth, her mother died of puerperal fever. Four motherless years later, Godwin married Mary Jane Clairmont, bringing her and her two children into the same household with Mary and her half-sister, Fanny. Mary's idolization of her father, his detached and rational treatment of their bond, and her step-mother's preference for her own children created a tense and awkward home. Mary's education and free-thinking were encouraged, so it should not surprise us today that at the age of sixteen she ran off with the brilliant, nineteen-year old and unhappily married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley became her ideal, but their life together was a difficult one. Traumas plagued them: Shelley's wife and Mary's half-sister both committed suicide; Mary and Shelley wed shortly after he was widowed but social disapproval forced them from England; three of their children died in infancy or childhood; and while Shelley was an aristocrat and a genius, he was also moody and had little money. Mary conceived of her magnum opus, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, when she was only nineteen when Lord Byron suggested they tell ghost stories at a house party. The resulting book took over two years to write and can be seen as the brilliant creation of a powerful but tormented mind. The story of Frankenstein has endured nearly two centuries and countless variations because of its timeless exploration of the tension between our quest for knowledge and our thirst for good. Shelley drowned when Mary was only 24, leaving her with an infant and debts. She died from a brain tumor on February 1, 1851 at the age of 54.