Agatha De Lacey

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Frankenstein, Edited by Stuart Curran
STUDY AIDS : CHARACTERS

Agatha De Lacey


Daughter of M. De Lacey and sister of Felix.

Agatha first appears anonymously (described only as "a young creature") in the Creature's narration (II:3:14):

I ate my breakfast with pleasure, and was about to remove a plank to procure myself a little water, when I heard a step, and, looking through a small chink, I beheld a young creature, with a pail on her head, passing before my hovel. The girl was young and of gentle demeanour, unlike what I have since found cottagers and farm-house servants to be. Yet she was meanly dressed, a coarse blue petticoat and a linen jacket being her only garb; her fair hair was plaited, but not adorned; she looked patient, yet sad.

She provides the Creature with his first experience of beauty (II:3:15):

The young girl was occupied in arranging the cottage; but presently she took something out of a drawer, which employed her hands, and she sat down beside the old man, who, taking up an instrument, began to play, and to produce sounds, sweeter than the voice of the thrush or the nightingale. It was a lovely sight, even to me, poor wretch! who had never beheld aught beautiful before.

The Creature first learns her name in II:4:9, as he learns the rudiments of language. Over time he comes to know her history: she once "had ranked with ladies of the highest distinction" (II:6:2), but after De Lacey's fall, she was imprisoned with her father (II:6:13). After five months in prison, the family was condemned to exile and found "a miserable asylum in the cottage in Germany," where the Creature first encounters her.

In her last appearance in the novel, she faints from terror upon beholding the Creature (II:7:38):

At that instant the cottage door was opened, and Felix, Safie, and Agatha entered. Who can describe their horror and consternation on beholding me? Agatha fainted; and Safie, unable to attend to her friend, rushed out of the cottage.

When the Creature returns to the cottage, the De Laceys have deserted it (II:8:7).

Original publication date

1818
1831

Published @ RC

May 2009