Ah, the apocalypse has started:
One word, in truth, had alarmed her more than battles or sieges, during which she trusted Raymond’s high command would exempt him from danger. That word, as yet it was not more to her, was PLAGUE. This enemy to the human race had begun early in June to raise its serpent-head on the shores of the Nile; parts of Asia, not usually subject to this evil, were infected. It was in Constantinople; but as each year that city experienced a like visitation, small attention was paid to those accounts which declared more people to have died there already, than usually made up the accustomed prey of the whole of the hotter months.
Pride and tenderness now struggled, and at length made a compromise together. She would see Raymond, since destiny had led him to her, and her constancy and devotion must merit his friendship. But her rights with regard to him, and her cherished independence, should not be injured by the idea of interest, or the intervention of the complicated feelings attendant on pecuniary obligation, and the relative situations of the benefactor, and benefited. Her mind was of uncommon strength; she could subdue her sensible wants to her mental wishes, and suffer cold, hunger and misery, rather than concede to fortune a contested point. Alas! that in human nature such a pitch of mental discipline, and disdainful negligence of nature itself, should not have been allied to the extreme of moral excellence!
Some lady - Evadne (probably a personification of either any classical goddess or a symbol for about every woman who's ever met Byron) pining for Raymond, a.k.a. Byron.
While the condensed story of the Shelley-Byron Set is fascinating for its time, the drawn out description that Shelley gives of their relationships - as portrayed through the characters of this book - can only have been interesting for Shelley herself, and maybe for some of her close friends.
I get that she wrote this as part of dealing with the grief of loss over the deaths of both Shelley and Byron, I really do, but there are limits to my interest in the group when it comes to looking for a plot / storyline in this book.
Bring on the damn plague!
The ex-queen of England had, even during infancy, endeavoured to implant daring and ambitious designs in the mind of her son. She saw that he was endowed with genius and surpassing talent; these she cultivated for the sake of afterwards using them for the furtherance of her own views. She encouraged his craving for knowledge and his impetuous courage; she even tolerated his tameless love of freedom, under the hope that this would, as is too often the case, lead to a passion for command. She endeavoured to bring him up in a sense of resentment towards, and a desire to revenge himself upon, those who had been instrumental in bringing about his father’s abdication. In this she did not succeed.
Oooh, ... how seditious!
Let's see where Mrs Shelley is going to take us. :D
The writing has been easy to follow so far, much clearer than what I remember the writing in Frankenstein to have been (even tho I adore Frankenstein).
With her proposing the idea of the abolishment of the monarchy in favour of a republic, I can see that the novel may not have been popular at the time of its publication in 1826.
I keep forgetting how progressive Mary Shelley was.
I only have 3 books left to read (plus one in progress that I need to finish) for Halloween Bingo, so I'm going to take some time and figure out which ones will be next.
I'm going to pick Mary Shelley's The Last Man for Genre: Horror because I am all horrored-out at this point, and need something that is more Goth than Gore.
I'm also super intrigued by a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel written by Shelley in 1826. I mean, she's not the first author that immediately comes to mind when thinking about post-apocalyptic sci-fi.
Bring it, Mary!
I'll be listening to The Last Man mostly on my commute next week.