In One Word

In One Word, Mary Shelley – The Short Stories by Mary Shelley is…

mary shelley short stories

  • First published at various times and by various publishers between 1829 and 1833
  • Format: Audiobook
    • Narrator: Ghizela Rowe and Richard Mitchley
    • Listening Speed: 1.5x
  • Listening Time: 1 moderately interesting day


  • Getting to my Classic Women Reading Challenge book for November at last. Since I listening to this audiobook on the last day of November, it still counts as being in time but only just. I’ve never read anything Mary Shelley wrote other than Frankenstein and The Last Man. I should definitely look to expand my repertoire and this collection of three short stories (The Mortal Immortal, The Dream and The Mourner) is a good quick way to do it.
  • Liked the take on immortality in The Mortal Immortal. It involves a lot of the usual tropes like seeing all their loved ones age while they stay the same and having to move around all the time to avoid suspicion from the neighbours but the story deliberately keeps it unclear whether the main character is actually immortal or just has been bestowed with an abnormally long life. It also throws in worries for their immortal soul regarding how they got that ‘immortality’ for good measure. I rather wish this story had been longer and more deeply explored.
  • Obvious fact is none of the prominant female characters show to advantage as they fail to make me sympathise with their motives. All three come off as shallow, selfish and full to Victorian mawkishness. It’s very disappointing.
  • Offering up something right out of a tale of medieval courtly romance in The Dream. It also offers up hints of some rather unpleasant racial stereotypes, some fairly flat one-dimensional characters and a very contrived storyline. The Dream was definitely my least favourite out of all the stories.
  • Melancholy and melodrama is dialled up to eleven in The Mourner. I was rather hoping that a ghost would be in the centre of this but the truth of the matter really ruined the story. It made the actions of Ellen appear completely over-emotional all because of what was just a flippant remark from a stranger. It ruined what might have otherwise been a nice story full of good drama and some decent plot twists.
  • Yeah, I probably should have picked something different for the Classic Women Reading Challenge. I can’t say I like Mary Shelley’s work any better after listening to this than I did before. Maybe, I should try Valperga.

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Did you agree with my rating? Can you think of a better word to describe it? Please let me know with a like, share or comment.

4 thoughts on “In One Word, Mary Shelley – The Short Stories by Mary Shelley is…”

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