Proserpine and Midas by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley INTRODUCTION. I. 'The compositions published in Mrs. Shelley's lifetime afford but an inadequate conception of the intense sensibility and mental vigour of this extraordinary woman.' Thus wrote Dr. Garnett, in 1862 (Preface to his Relics of Shelley). The words of praise may have sounded unexpectedly warm at that date. Perhaps the present volume will make the reader more willing to subscribe, or less inclined to demur. Mary Godwin in her younger days certainly possessed a fair share of that nimbleness of invention which generally characterizes women of letters. Her favourite pastime as a child, she herself testifies, had been to write stories. And a dearer pleasure had been-to use her own characteristic abstract and elongated way of putting it-'the following up trains of thought which had for their subject the formation of a succession of imaginary incidents'. All readers of Shelley's life remember how later on, as a girl of nineteen-and a two years' wife-she was present, 'a devout but nearly silent listener', at the long symposia held by her husband and Byron in Switzerland (June 1816), and how the pondering over 'German horrors', and a common resolve to perpetrate ghost stories of their own, led her to imagine that most unwomanly of all feminine romances, Frankenstein. We are delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive Classic Library collection. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public. The aim of our publishing program is to facilitate rapid access to this vast reservoir of literature, and our view is that this is a significant literary work, which deserves to be brought back into print after many decades. The contents of the vast majority of titles in the Classic Library have been scanned from the original works. To ensure a high quality product, each title has been meticulously hand curated by our staff. Our philosophy has been guided by a desire to provide the reader with a book that is as close as possible to ownership of the original work. We hope that you will enjoy this wonderful classic work, and that for you it becomes an enriching experience.
Proserpine and Midas
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