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Mathilda

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,405 Ratings  ·  228 Reviews
Mary Shelley's "Matilda" - suppressed for over a century - tells the story of a woman alienated from society by the incestuous passion of her father.
Paperback, 94 pages
Published November 3rd 2006 by Hard Press (first published 1819)
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Petra X
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Mary Shelley is exceedingly famous as the author of Frankenstein, but this work isn't known at all and wasn't even published until 1959. With good reason.

The story is that Mathilda's father leaves England after the death of his wife and doesn't return until she is 16 whereupon he falls in love with her. He confesses it to her and then kills himself. (view spoiler). Mathilda is consumed with unhappiness an
...more
Orsodimondo
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inglese, gotico, horror
EDIPO STA PER MORIRE
Così si legge a pagina 2 (almeno nella mia edizione, che non sono riuscito a ritrovare in rete: Edizioni delle Donne).

description
Johann Heinrich Füssli: Incubo (1781) Detroit Institute of Arts. Füssli realizzò diverse versioni di questa sua celebre opera.

La storia inizia con Mathilda che vive isolata dal mondo, e in punto di morte scrive al suo amico poeta (il Poeta) una lunga lettera, lunga quanto questo breve romanzo, per raccontargli la verità della sua vita.
Nella prima parte raccont
...more
Jan-Maat
Really, really short work, virtually a one idea story that Shelley allows to go on far too long. She is reaching here for shock and sensation and melodrama (in the absence of other words beginning in S), but no doubt I'm too callous or too old or something. It's an aristocratic- Gothic tale, so while in earlier works of Gothic shlocky sensation, illicit passions were worked out to their dark and dreadful conclusions in foreign countries like Italy, or the past, the scene of the action here is mo ...more
Jessica
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Read my full review here: http://virtualmargin.blogspot.com/2011/08/mathilda-34100.html

This may be one of the most Romantic books I've ever read. Romantic with a big R, not a little one. It's so packed full of feelings, melodramatic dialogues, and rainy moors, you'll be convinced Lord Byron is standing directly behind you.

In Mathilda, the title character narrates from her deathbed the tragic story of her life. Having lost her mother at birth, her father leaves her in the care of a cold aunt and
...more
Vanessa
This was an interesting little novella (or short story? I don't know), about a woman called Matilda whose life is turned upside down as a result of her father's inappropriate obsession with her. As expected, the writing is beautiful - Mary Shelley truly has a way with words! It took me a while to get into the flow of this, being out of practice with classics, but I did love how melodramatic the character's conversations became! However, I felt it dragged a little in the second half, and it was u ...more
Tiffany Reisz
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Supposedly this book was suppressed by Mary Shelley's father because it deals with a widowed father's sexual attraction to his teenage daughter. And maybe that's true. Personally I think he suppressed it because it was a really weak book. Just 150 pages of yammering about guilt, no scenes, almost no dialogue, no psychological insight into why a man reunited after 16 years with a daughter who looks like his beloved dead wife might struggle with attraction. It's a bad sign when a whole book on the ...more
Annelies
A book written in 19th century romantic style. Very embellished language. It's a story about love and despair; about longing for passion ( which is surpressed) and longing for death. Although it's beautifully written; it couldn't really grip me.
Dhanaraj Rajan
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Language: Mary Shelley writes in a beautiful language. For the language of this novella, I would give full 5 Stars.

Story: It is a simple plot spread over a few pages. In fact it would have made a great short story if she had edited some of the passages. It is about the unnatural passion of a father for his daughter and how it destroys both of them. Believe me, I have not given up anything other than what is in the blurb.

Themes: Unnatural Passion, Grief, Guilt and Despair. Also a pinch of Hope i
...more
Sara Jesus
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, favorites
Depois de ter lido "Frankenstein" tinha curiosidade em ler outras obras de Mary Shelley. No seu clássico de terror a sua escrita parece ser mais científica. Mas nesta novela demonstra ser uma poetisa. As descrições que faz de Inglaterra são maravilhosas. E me encanta muito o modo como transmite as emoções contraditórias de Mathilda.

Não é uma leitura fácil, pode se tornar um pouco desagradável. A relação entre pai e filha é um pouco estranha. Mas entende-se que existe uma grande cumplicidade ent
...more
Jori Richardson
Oh, Shelley. First a story about a lonely, half-dead monster, and now a tale of incestuous romance.

I was very intrigued about the novella "Mathilda." I had heard of before, as "that other Shelley book," but somehow the knowledge of what it was about managed to never reach me until a few days ago.

For those who also do not know the story, this is about a girl who is indeed named Mathilda. Her mother tragically died in childbirth, inspiring her passionate father to flee in grief to the ends of the
...more
Nicole
Read August 2016
Update: giving it two stars.
I loved Frankenstein and part of me feels like I should have liked this as well, but honestly, I didn't.. The writing was alright and the story could have been too, but I was just so bored and the littlest things got me distracted whilest reading..


not sure how i feel about it yet..
Louise
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
The prose is Gothic in perfect pitch and the drama of the story is even more so if that is possible. I’m glad it was short, because I was more interested in Mary Shelley than the book.

The protagonist’s life parallels MG Shelley’s: a mother dying in (her) childbirth; a cold, distant well educated father whose love turns to stone; a formative stay in Scotland; and the emergence of a poet with the exuberance of youth.

Shelley’s portrait of Mathilda’s father is presumably Shelley’s portrait of her ow
...more
MJ
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics-club
Ah, poor Mary Shelley. I’m thinking she has this charmed life – daughter of two talented intellectuals, married to a gorgeous poet husband, herself a writer of what turns out to be one of the most famous books of all time, Frankenstein.

Then I find out that she wrote a little novella, Mathilda, that so shocked and outraged her father (also her publisher) with its subject of father-daughter incest that it was first published in 1959 – over 150 years after it was written. While some read it as auto
...more
Kirsty
Like many people, I'm sure, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein ranks amongst my favourite novels. I had never read anything else by her until I opened Mathilda on my Kindle. I must admit that I wasn't expecting it to be anywhere near as good as the aforementioned, but neither was I expecting to feel disappointed with it. Shelley writes beautifully, but given that this is a long short story, it feels very clunky at times. Mathilda is rather a melancholy little work, which does not have a great deal of p ...more
Diana
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: en-inglés
Lo leí en inglés y logré disfrutarlo todavía más de lo que podría haberlo hecho en español. ¡Qué pequeña obra de arte! ¡Qué hermosa forma de contarlo! ¡Qué podría decir sobre Mary Shelley...! No existen palabras, aunque, seguramente, ella las habría tenido. ¿De dónde las saca? ¿De dónde provienen? 
Laura
Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Carey
A mournful Mathilda longs to escape her concerned relatives who have no idea why her father killed himself. She fakes her own suicide and escapes with a modest sum to live on a remote heath in the North of England, alone with her memories of joy and tragedy.

After two years, just when she longs for a friend, she meets the young poet Woodville. He tries to lift her out of despair - but will she confide in him?
Asha Seth
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I am not surprised why it was withheld from publishing by Shelly's own father.
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Mary Shelley's dark story of a bereaved man's disturbing passion for his daughter was suppressed by her own father, and not published for over a century.
Maria Thomarey
3,5
Readmarathon2017:12/26 μια νουβέλα

Περιεργο βιβλιο . Ενας φρουδιστης ή ενας Λακανιστης , θα το εκτιμούσαν δεόντως.
Ηταν σαν ενα παραμύθι , αλλα διεστραμμένο παραμύθι . Και με οχι καλο τέλος .
Λιγο βαρετο και με αρκετά περίεργη μετάφραση .
Sierra
Jul 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Incest, insanity, depression, and suicide. These dark things are what drew me to picking up the little novella of Mary Shelly's. "Frankenstein" was one of my favorite reads, and "The Last Man" was completely captivating, and I was thrilled to discover yet another of Shelly's works. However, "Mathilda" didn't thrill me the way "Frankenstein" or "The Last Man" did. Given, I started reading with the explicit desire to devour something that was uncomfortable and obscene. I wanted to be shocked and h ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jul 31, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2016, ebooks
Well this book is pretty awful. The description hints at incest but unless I'm unskilled at reading between the lines of this era's literature, it is really more about a father's guilt for having confusing feelings about his daughter 16 years after the death of her mother. (Not that I wanted to read a novel with incest. I had my share of Flowers in the Attic when we read it on the bus in junior high.)

This entire novel is a series of emotional letters and hand-wringing declarations and I wanted t
...more
Mel
This was just absoultely gorgeous. Everytime I read anything by Mary Shelley I just want to read everything she ever wrote, whether it was fiction or non-fiction. This was a very gothic tragic tale of a young girl doomed to death. The tale itself is interesting and tragic. The style of the writing is just beautiful. There are some of the most beautiful and moving passages about depression and suicide that I've ever read. Clearly Mary Shelley understood these things very well and while the plot o ...more
Nicki Markus
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-classics
I loved Matilda. The story and characters captivated me from the start and I couldn't put it down, finishing in one hour-long sitting. Despite its short length, it packed an emotional punch and I shed a few tears towards the end. A wonderful afternoon read.
Jersy
This novella started out really good, the first 3 or 4 chapters were really enjoyable to me but once she is reunited with her father things started to go downhill. It's a shame, the story in itself is quite interesting but I just couldn't stand the over-dramatized and over-poetic dialogs and actually later on most of the writing just annoyed me.
If you like that kind of literature, that's fine, but it just wasn't for me.
Aelin
Wow. This book (novella?) very nearly brought me to tears. The writing is so beautiful and moving. The tale is so harrowing. I couldn't stop reading this and the story really does consume you. I'm so glad i found this little gem it's definitely not as popular as Frankenstein by Shelley but in my opinion this is far better with actual likeable characters that you can relate to. I also enjoyed spotting the parallels between this and Shelley's own life as well as the similarities in language and ce ...more
Peter
It is a known fact that sad not happy songs make people happy when they are down and this is the book counter-part.

To read this in a normal mindset is demoralising, the deeper into it's murky content one goes the need to stop for a while increases. This was an exhuasting read and it's understandable as to why it was supressed by her father and left unpublished for a 120 years.
Grace Harwood
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've just finished re-reading Frankenstein and it reminded me how much I love the work of Mary Shelley, hence moving on to this small novella. The first part of this book is definitely stronger than the latter half which is a bit fragmented and not terribly polished in my opinion. The first part is just wonderful though - melodramatic, tragic and with all the obsession of the self which marks the typical Romantics of the period. The story commences on a blasted heath, where damaged soul Mathilda ...more
Alessandra
I wanted to give this 3 stars because I really didn't like the character of Matilda but Mary Shelley's writing is absolutely stunning, even in a story as short as this one.
Sarah
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was Mary Shelley’s second work after Frankenstein, and it’s really interesting to see how similar it is in thematic preoccupations and how it draws on her own life: absent fathers, dead mothers, nature as parent, books as parent, very close father-daughter relationships, human society as false and corrupting, human love and kindness as essential, the city as oppressive compared to the freedom of the countryside, the pleasures and pains of solitude. (that last one in particular; Shelley writ ...more
Gazala
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it
This novella by this legendary lady is about the very young Matilda ( book set between birth and 19/ 20 yrs of age) and her father. Having lost her mother , and father ( who chooses to walk away), She is raised by an aunt...Matilda has lead a very solitary and sad life until one day when her father decides to return. While they are very fond of each other, her short lived happiness turns to grief when her father professes his love for her.. having never known love before, Matilda's life is shatt ...more
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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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“My greatest pleasure was the enjoyment of a serene sky amidst these verdant woods: yet I loved all the changes of Nature; and rain, and storm, and the beautiful clouds of heaven brought their delights with them. When rocked by the waves of the lake my spirits rose in triumph as a horseman feels with pride the motions of his high fed steed.
But my pleasures arose from the contemplation of nature alone, I had no companion: my warm affections finding no return from any other human heart were forced to run waste on inanimate objects.”
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“Believe me, I will never desert life until this last hope is torn from my bosom, that in some way my labours may form a link of gold with which we ought all to strive to drag Happiness from where she sits enthroned above the clouds, now far beyond our reach, to inhabit the earth with us.” 0 likes
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