Description

    Mary Shelley: History of a Six Weeks' Tour through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland: with Letters Descriptive of a Sail Round the Lake of Geneva, and of the Glaciers of Chamouni. (London: T. Hookham, Jun. and C. and J. Ollier, 1817), first edition, 183 pages, dark green cloth with moiré pattern, 16mo (4" x 6.5"). Preface by Percy Bysshe Shelley. History of a Six Weeks' Tour is a reworking of the Shelleys' journal of their elopement with Mary's step-sister Claire Clairemont, through war-torn Europe. Like the journal, History of a Six Weeks' Tour begins on July 28, 1814 and ends on September 13, when, lacking money, they returned to Gravesend. To this 1814 memoir are added four 1816 letters from Switzerland, two from each of the Shelleys, and P. B. Shelley's poem "Mont Blanc". Their objective was "to journey towards the lake of Uri, and seek in that romantic and interesting country some cottage where we might dwell in peace and solitude". But History and the letters are more than just a compilation of selections from the journal and their correspondence. To an important degree, History established a philosophic perspective and a technique that would resonate in Mary Shelley's novels, in her last book, Rambles, and in many of her essays, as well as in the prefaces and notes to P. B. Shelley's works. These include her belief that social and personal reform be based on love and individual dignity; use of a familiar genre and format into which she introduces metaphors to transform the reader's perspectives; a narrative told through the psychology of the individual while interacting on an emotional level with the external world; travel and education as the means to enlarge ones perspective and achieve her socio-political reforms. (From Betty Bennett's Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: An Introduction). This copy is very good. The corners of the book are lightly bumped, with some foxing on the front free endpapers and back free endpapers. Otherwise, there is very minimal foxing and bubbling to front and back pastedowns. From the Betty Bennett Collection.

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    April, 2007
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