(36) Chapter 9 cont.

After a sad demise comes a hard winter; as Volume 2 ends in snow, Lionel thinks about traveling south.

Leafless branches spread the intricate traceries of delicate seaweed against an azure sky, while the naked trees trunks reared up like columns in a vast, labyrinthine temple. . .

This watercolor by a 30-year old Queen Victoria shows trees—almost certainly also at Windsor—looking just as Mary Shelley describes them in this installment. Even by the standards of the novel so far, these pages are unusually full of trees; attentive readers will have noted Lionel’s attempt to take a mental photograph of some, in a fictional world without cameras.

Readers of Frankenstein will also have recognized Mary Shelley’s gift for winter writing. She can make cold come through the page, and her eye is always open to the beauty of ice, snow, hoar frost, glaciers. This image, another from the U.S.A. in honor of our minor starring role in the previous installment, comes very close I think to where she leaves us at the end of Volume 2. The photographer is Carol M. Highsmith.

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