Valperga, or, The Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca

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Valperga (1823), the novel Mary Shelley wrote after Frankenstein, is based on the life of Castruccio Castracani (1281-1328), Prince of Lucca. A brilliant soldier and cruel tyrant, he successfully commanded Ghibelline forces in Tuscany against the Guelphs. Woven into the story of this factional conflict are the tragic destinies of two heroines, fictional creations of the author. Ethanasia, Countess of Valperga, finds herself increasingly torn between loyalty to her Guelph roots and her lifelong affection for ...
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Valperga: or, the Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca

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Overview


Valperga (1823), the novel Mary Shelley wrote after Frankenstein, is based on the life of Castruccio Castracani (1281-1328), Prince of Lucca. A brilliant soldier and cruel tyrant, he successfully commanded Ghibelline forces in Tuscany against the Guelphs. Woven into the story of this factional conflict are the tragic destinies of two heroines, fictional creations of the author. Ethanasia, Countess of Valperga, finds herself increasingly torn between loyalty to her Guelph roots and her lifelong affection for Castruccio. Beatrice, whom the author's father, William Godwin, described as 'the jewel of the book', is a heretical Paterin with whom Castruccio falls in love only to abandon. This meticulously researched historical novel combines a narrative of suspense with a remarkable reconstruction of manners in the Middle Ages. Set in the period of Dante's lifetime, it is also suffused with a poetic spirit which evokes the beauties of Italy's physical environment and points to the melancholy inevitability of change. This edition provides a clear account of the circumstances in which Valperga was composed and published.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Shelley followed up Frankenstein with this 1823 novel that tells the story of a 14th-century Italian prince and the women in his life. This scholarly edition offers the full text plus useful extras such as maps, textual notes, a chronology, and an introduction. A lot for the price. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Library Journal
Shelley's second novel was written in 1822. Like Frankenstein, this is a dark, moody story that follows the adventures of protagonist Castruccio in 14th-century Italy.
From the Publisher

",,,Curran's edition is an excellent resource for scholarly study and an affordable alternative for the classroom....Curran's footnotes are useful, learned and tactful...[and] he provides a suggestive and illuminating chronology and selective bibliography."--The Wordsworth Circle

"Curran dazzles us with the meticulous and thorough editing that we have come to expect from him....an excellent resource for scholarly study....At every step, Curran quietly and thoroughly immerses readers in the complex historical, political, and biographical context of the novel."--Romantic Circles

Anne K. Mellor University of California
"This is a superb edition of Mary Shelley's historical romance Valperga. Professor Rajan provides an extremely illuminating introduction to the novel, one that if finely informed by her extensive knowledge of women's literary history, Italian history, British Romanticism, and critical theory. She sensitively analyses the ways in which Shelly's complex bio-textual relationships to both her husband and her father play out in the novel. She also provides extensive and invaluable annotations, chronologies, appendices of relevant writings by Godwin, Sismondi, Machiavelli, and the earliest reviews of the novel."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192832894
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
  • Pages: 464
  • Lexile: 1090L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Tillottama Rajan is one of Canada's most distinguished Romanticists. She is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism, in the Department of English, University of Western Ontario.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Mary Shelley: A Brief Chronology
Chronology of Historical Events Relevant to Valperga
A Note on the Text and Acknowledgements
Valperga
Appendix A: from Godwin's "Of History and Romance"
Appendix B: from Machiavelli's Life of Castruccio
Appendix C: Extract from Draft Manuscript
Appendix D: from Sismondi's History of the Italian Republics of the Middle Ages, II: 110-12 (translation Rajan)
Appendix E: Reviews of Valperga
1. From The Ladies' Monthly Museum 17 (April, 1823)
2. From Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine 13 (1823)
3. From The Examiner 788 (March 2, 1823)
4. From The Literary Gazette, and Journal of the Belles Lettres 319 (March 1, 1823)
5. From Monthly Review 101 (May, 1823)
Select Bibliography

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2013

    Text difficult to read

    I found this version difficult to read. It is not really a facsimile. It appears to be scanned in, then some sort of character recognition used. This results in words like "ne/t". I bought the ninety nine cent version - it seems fine.

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    Posted December 24, 2009

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