Mathilda
    
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Mary Shelley wrote this novel to distract herself from her grief after the deaths of her one-year-old daughter Clara in Venice and her three-year-old son William in Rome. Narrating from her deathbed, Mathilda, a young woman barely in her twenties, writes her story as a way of explaining her actions to her friend, Woodville. Her narration follows her lonely upbringing and climaxes at a point when her unnamed father confesses his incestuous love for her. This is then followed by his suicide by drowning and her ultimate death; her relationship with the gifted young poet, Woodville, fails to reverse Matilda's emotional withdrawal or prevent her lonely death.
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