Read and QCOP XIII but skip XIV...Read XV instead


Chapter XIV goes on and on about the DeLaceys...

Chapter XIV is not very important in the grand scheme of things, so here is a summary.  Know this and you’ll be all set for XV.

  • Before living in the hovel, the DeLacey family were affluent and well-respected.  They lived in Paris.
  • Safie’s father is the cause of their ruin
    • he was a dissenter to the government and imprisoned
    • he was judged by "his religion and his wealth rather than his crime”
  • Felix had been present at the trial, and was appalled by his treatment
    • vowed to release him
    • was promised “reward and wealth” but after seeing Safie, wanted to marry her instead
    • her father promised her hand in marriage if he successfully broke him out of prison
    • Safie was enamored by the possibility of "marrying a Christian and remaining in a country where women were allowed to take rank in society”
  • Felix procured passports for his own family, who went into hiding in a obscure part of France
  • He successfully broke Safie’s father out of prison
  • Safie and her father escaped to Turkey
  • Safie’s father (The Turk) changed his mind after living in the freedom of Turkey, and soon changed his mind regarding Felix.  
    • he no longer wanted Safie to marry the Christian
  • Meanwhile, the French government decided to punish the individual or individuals who helped the Turk escape
    • DeLacey and Agatha were imprisoned
    • their imprisonment depleted the family of their wealth, and they were condemned to a perpetual exile from France
  • Upon hearing what had happened to Felix’s family, the Turk took the opportunity to leave Italy with Safie, sending Felix a small amount of money and breaking his promise to allow Felix to marry Safie
  • The Turk escaped to Constantinople, leaving Safie in the care of a trusted friend
  • Safie and her confidant escaped Italy and headed to Germany to find Felix
  • The confidant fell ill and died
  • Safie eventially found the hovel and was reuinited with Felix


That’s it!  You are now caught up on the history of Safie and the De Laceys!  

So, why does Shelley go on such a tangent?  What is the reason for her digression?  Here is what I think:

  1. Mary Shelley’s relationship with Percy was interesting and as a man, he believed, as we read, in free love.  Maybe Mary was romanticising an ideal love and relationship?  One that is all encompassing?  Devoted? Full of never-ending passion and dedication?  Was she trying to hint something to Percy?
  2. Mary Shelley’s moment of fantasy may have been her own attempt at Romanticism—but not one that deals with matters of nature, but rather matters of the heart.  Where else could she do something like this?  Certianly not in her writing about Victor and Elizabeth.  We all know Victor is not capable of such passion...