On the run from vicious outlaws, Verezzi meets Matilda after she had decided to end her own life by jumping off a bridge. However, after Verezzi talks her out of it, the two become friends, though Matilda grows more attached than Verezzi does. Becoming obsessed with the man, Matilda offers to let Verezzi stay in her home, hoping to win him over. Still weary of the outlaws that seek to harm him, Verezzi happily accepts.

While she provides him boarding at her castle, Matilda grows closer to Verezzi, making both subtle and overt attempts to seduce him. When Verezzi reveals that he has a fiancé, Julia, who he loves dearly, Matilda is distraught. After trapping him in the castle, Matilda teams up with a mysterious man named Zastrozzi, and orders for Julia to be gruesomely killed. However, while Matilda dreams of becoming the only option for Verezzi, Zastrozzi makes his own plans to suit his secret agenda.

Featuring complex characters, deception, and deadly love affairs, Zastrozzi, written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, is a thrilling work of gothic fiction. First published when he was just eighteen, Shelley’s Zastrozzi earned quick acclaim, however he was not given credit until much later, as the novel was published anonymously under just his initials. Still, the masterful prose and rich plot of Zastrozzi won the attention of 19th century literary critics, who were both impressed with the literary quality and disturbed by the novel’s content. Zastrozzi has inspired both film and stage adaptations since its publication. With an exciting mix of romance and revenge, Shelley’s work remains to captivate audiences centuries later, fascinating readers with its brilliant prose and dark themes.

This edition of Zastrozzi by Percy Bysshe Shelley features an eye-catching new cover design and is printed in a font that is both modern and readable. With these accommodations, Zastrozzi caters to a contemporary audience while preserving the original mastery of Shelley’s work.

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