Book summary: Falkner. A Novel

1837 BY MARY SHELLEY

Like Shelley's novel Lodore (1835), Falkner charts a young woman's education under a tyrannical father figure. As a six-year-old orphan, Elizabeth Raby prevents Rupert Falkner from committing suicide; Falkner then adopts her and brings her up to be a model of virtue. However, she falls in love with Gerald Neville, whose mother Falkner had unintentionally driven to her death years before. When Falkner is finally acquitted of murdering Neville's mother, Elizabeth's female values subdue the destructive impulses of the two men she loves, who are reconciled and unite with Elizabeth in domestic harmony. Falkner is the only one of Mary Shelley's novels in which the heroine's agenda triumphs.

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