The tales and stories in this collection were casually written at different periods and under different influences. As a rule, it may be said that Mary Shelley is best when most ideal, and excels in proportion to the exaltation of the sentiment embodied in her tale. Virtue, patriotism, disinterested affection, are very real things to her; and her heroes and heroines, if generally above the ordinary plane of humanity, never transgress the limits of humanity itself.
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