Book summary: Lodore

1835 BY MARY SHELLEY

In Lodore, Shelley focused her theme of power and responsibility on the microcosm of the family. The central story follows the fortunes of the wife and daughter of the title character, Lord Lodore, who is killed in a duel at the end of the first volume, leaving a trail of legal, financial, and familial obstacles for the two "heroines" to negotiate. Mary Shelley places female characters at the centre of the ensuing narratives: Lodore's daughter, Ethel, raised to be over-dependent on paternal control; his estranged wife, Cornelia, preoccupied with the norms and appearances of aristocratic society; and the intellectual and independent Fanny Derham, with whom both are contrasted.

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