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Valperga
 
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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
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Valperga

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  131 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Valperga, steeped in Mary Shelley's command of local Italian history and culture, offers the vivid pleasures of accomplished historical fiction, while at the same time representing in the clash between Castruccio and euthanasia a struggle between autocracy and liberal democracy that speaks directly to the contemporary political tensions of post-Napoleonic Europe.
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Published (first published 1823)
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(showing 1-30)
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Kim
Mar 19, 2016 Kim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: one-star, goodbye

I just realized as I sat down to write this review that I could say it all in three words. Just three rather small words. I don't think I've ever written a review - whether it is here or just in my diary that is only three words. The reviews come in handy when I'm trying to remember if I liked a book enough to read it again or if it should simply be used as a hill in one of my Christmas villages. Come to think of it, there are quite a few "never again" books in my home because there are many, ma
...more
Tanabrus
Ho preso questo libro spinto solo dal protagonista, Castruccio Castracani, uno dei personaggi di spicco della storia di Lucca.
Se da un lato l'ambientazione mi emozionava, dall'altro l'autrice non mi dava grandi garanzie: di Mary Shelley -come penso quasi tutti- avevo letto finora solo Frankenstein, e l'avevo trovato deludente, enormemente sopravvalutato.

Questo libro è una sorta di romance storico ambientato nel 1300, e segue bene o male la vita di Castruccio Castracani dall'infanzia in esilio fi
...more
Aria Ligi
Sep 01, 2016 Aria Ligi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Next to Frankenstein, this is Mary Shelley's finest novel (Frankenstein being her very best). This book is enchanting, with elegantly drawn characters as well as depictions of the picturesque landscape, and the times in which it takes place.
The mark of a great novel is that it leaves the reader not only thinking, but intrinsically altered in indefinable ways. Valperga does just that. It is Romantic without being riddled with cliches, or falling prey to the trap of sophistic pedantry. As such,
...more
Phil Whitney
Having read this book, I now know why Shelley is only known for Frankinstein. Even for a nineteenth century novel, much of the dialogue is unnecessarily verbose.
Jared Pechacek
At once fascinating and, well, pretty dull. Valperga is historical fiction, taking the story of a real Italian tyrant and adding fictitious women, whose story it ultimately becomes. It's this feminist slant that kept me reading—because Castruccio, prince of Lucca, is a very boring character—but much of the story creaks along, hardly ever connecting with the reader.
It begins in Castruccio's childhood, as he is spirited away from political turmoil in his hometown of Lucca. In nearby Florence, Dan
...more
Perry Whitford
Castruccio, Prince of Lucca, was one of the more brutal and successful of Tuscany tyrants from the early years of the Renaissance. A native Florentine from the anti-libertarian Ghibeline party, his family had to flee Florence when he was just a child in the wake of some typical political plotting.

The extraordinarily (to a modern reader) named Euthanasia is Shelley's fictional heroine, close to Castruccio throughout childhood and eventually betrothed to him, but very much his opposite in both par
...more
Theresa Malloy
Our second Mary Shelley book for school was a little harder to get through than the first. This is a historical novel. (Side note: Shelley helped invent the historical novel). It was written about a 13th century conqueror Castruccio and his failure to truly realize the love of his life, Euthanasia. The two are engaged to be married, but Castruccio wants to conquer Euthanasia's castle and village. She refuses, yet stays in love with him and dedicates her life to righting his wrongs. It was a slow ...more
Stephen
Oct 13, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Travelled to Lucca and saw a wine named after the male lead in this 'begging to be an opera' historical fiction from the Renaissance. Puccini lived and died in his beloved Lucca and would be able to deal with all the drama, emotions, cruelty and beauty. Can anyone translate the last few lines for me? I loved Euthanasia and would have done anything to be with her....even forget about power and prestige (unlike C.). He transformed what could have been heaven on earth to one of Dante's levels of he ...more
Cassi
Sep 09, 2007 Cassi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: have
This is a great book telling about a little known Italian prince. It's got a love, war, politics, magic and truth! Taken from the haroin's real life diaries, this story is told with little infill, but reads like a shakespearean tragedy. We all knew she was tallented, but this is a book that piques my interest in more of her writing.
Marbeth Skwarczynski
Dec 31, 2015 Marbeth Skwarczynski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Beautifully written prose in the style of classical Middle-English. While the descriptive passages can be overwrought and have a tendency to slow the plot, the characters are well-formed and relatable.
Z S
Mar 01, 2012 Z S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Shelley's most under-rated book. At a time where masculine voice dominates historical fiction, Shelley triumphs in the genre.
Lindsay
May 29, 2007 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Need to reread Florentine Histories alongside this one.
Casey
May 08, 2007 Casey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adults
Meh. Not my favorite. Thought the women were surprisingly lame. The writing was pretty, though.
Tanya
Feb 26, 2015 Tanya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Footnotes were actually helpful. The editing was well done. I've never read Frankenstein and probably won't.
Jane Mackay
Jane Mackay rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2011
Katherine
Katherine rated it really liked it
Apr 02, 2015
Livelifetothefullest
Livelifetothefullest rated it it was ok
Jan 25, 2014
Jordan
Jordan rated it it was amazing
Apr 03, 2012
Shrouk Elrawdy
Shrouk Elrawdy rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2013
Josh
Josh rated it liked it
Oct 09, 2015
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Scar rated it liked it
Jul 31, 2012
Carla
Carla rated it really liked it
Feb 15, 2016
S.C. Flynn
S.C. Flynn rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2015
Stephan St
Stephan St rated it it was ok
Mar 05, 2015
Rob
Rob rated it it was amazing
Nov 26, 2014
Mia Pette
Mia Pette rated it liked it
May 18, 2016
Greggie
Greggie rated it really liked it
May 31, 2015
Heather McNiel
Heather McNiel rated it it was ok
Mar 05, 2008
Liz
Liz rated it liked it
Nov 06, 2008
Josh Plattner
Josh Plattner rated it really liked it
Jul 19, 2015
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Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft ...more
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“When tenderness softened her heart, and the sublime feeling of universal love penetrated her, she found no voice that replied so well to hers as the gentle singing of the pines under the air of noon, and the soft murmurs of the breeze that scattered her hair and freshened her cheek, and the dashing of the waters that has no beginning or end.” 2 likes
“There are some souls, bright and precious, which, like gold and silver, may be subdued by the fiery trial, and yield to new moulds; but there are others, pure and solid as the diamond, which may be shivered to pieces, yet in every fragment retain their indelible characteristics.” 1 likes
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