The Mortal Immortal: The Complete Supernatural Short Fiction of Mary Shelley
by Mary Shelley
ISBN: Book: 1892391015
Published: 1996 and October 2017
Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and Hardcover and Digital Books
From the creator of Frankenstein, discover the secrets of eternal youth, souls that exchange bodies, and ancient Romans newly thawed out of ice. This riveting collection contains all five of Mary Shelley’s incredible supernatural tales, guaranteed to delight even the most jaded of readers.
About The Mortal Immortal:
Mary Shelley’s considerable fame is due to her great Gothic novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. Frankenstein, published in 1818, is considered one of (if not the) earliest pure science-fiction novels. Shelley’s powerful tale of blasphemous creation became even more celebrated through its many film adaptations, from Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein to Kenneth Branaugh’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Shelley’s other works are not as famous as Frankenstein. She wrote just a handful of other novels, of which only The Last Man (1826) has remained sporadically in print. A precursor to such disaster novels as George R. Stewart’s Earth Abides and Richard Jeffries’ After London, The Last Man follows its protagonist through a distant future world depopulated by plague.
The shorter works of Mary Shelley are also less widely-known. During her lifetime, she published just over two-dozen stories, three of which were of interest to science fiction and fantasy readers. Two additional stories were published after Shelley’s death. “Roger Dodsworth: The Reanimated Englishman” was printed in a volume of reminisces by a magazine editor who had commissioned the story thirty years earlier. “Valerius: The Reanimated Roman,” a story in a similar vein to “Roger Dodsworth,” remained unpublished until 1976, when both stories were discovered by Charles E. Robinson, a Shelley scholar and professor of English at the University of Delaware.
In addition to all of Mary Shelley’s compelling supernatural stories, The Mortal Immortal also features an original story by renowned science fiction author Michael Bishop, which serves as a narrative introduction.
About the Author
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797–1851) was an English writer born to the proto-feminist writer and philosopher, Mary Wollstonecraft, and novelist and social critic William Godwin. Shelley is best known for her novel Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus, which was first published anonymously in 1818.
“The Mortal Immortal” (1833) is an example of Shelley’s short fiction that returns to the theme of the outcast who animates her famous novel. Her handling of the theme in Frankenstein reshaped the course of the fantastic, leading the way toward science fiction, presenting an influential image of the modern, sympathetic monster and demonstrating the ability of the genre to frame profound philosophical speculations in its presentation of the impossible.
Novels by Mary Shelley
Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus (1818) recommended
Valperga; or, The Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca (1823)
The Last Man (1826)
The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck (1834)
Short Story Collections
Mary Shelly: Collected Tales and Stories (1976) (recommended)
The Mortal Immortal: The Complete Supernatural Short Fiction (1996) (recommended)
Poetry by Mary Shelley
The Choice: A Poem on Shelley’s Death (1876)
Other Books by Mary Shelley
History of a Six Weeks’ Tour through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany and Holland (1917) with Percy Bysshe Shelley
Rambles in Germany and Italy in 1840, 1842, 1843 (1844)
Shelley and Mary: A Collection of Letters and Documents of a Biographical Character (1882)
Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Mostly Unpublished (1918)
My Best Mary: The Selected Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1953)
The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1980)
The Journals of Mary Shelley 1814–44 (1987)
Books edited by Mary Shelley
Posthumous Poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1824)
The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1839)
Essays, Letters from Abroad, Translations and Fragments by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1840)
Praise for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
“Here is one of the productions of the modern school in its highest style of caricature and exaggeration. It is formed on the Godwinian manner, and has all the faults, but many likewise of the beauties of that model. In dark and gloomy views of nature and of man, bordering too closely on impiety -in the most outrageous improbability—in sacrificing every thing to effect— it even goes beyond its great prototype; but in return, it possesses a similar power of fascination, something of the same mastery in harsh and savage delineations of passion, relieved in like manner by the gentler features of domestic and simple feelings. There never was a wilder story imagined, yet, like most of the fictions of this age, it has an air of reality attached to it, by being connected with the favourite projects and passions of the times.”
—Edinburgh Magazine, 1818 (for Frankenstein)
Visit the Mary Shelley website.
Table of Content
"The Unexpected Visit of a Reanimated Englishwoman" Narrative introduction by Michael Bishop
The Mortal Immortal: A Tale
Roger Dodsworth: The Reanimated Englishman
Valerius: The Reanimated Roman