New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. Hardcover. 8vo. Fine / Fine. Item #007529
Quarter dark brown paper, light brown paper boards. x, 179 pp. B&W illustrations. Spine tilted. Very light bumping and toning to extremities of dust jacket. Fine overall. Written two years after her great gothic novel, Maurice dates from a period when Mary Shelley, still only twenty-two, was deeply sunk in depression. She eloped with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley at sixteen, had borne him four children and seen three of them die. Thus, though Maurice is basically a charming moral tale written for a child - the daughter of a close friend - it betrays a vein of melancholy, beginning with a funeral and concerning a boy who has lost his parents. Even the happy ending has a sad twist.