Portrait by Richard Rothwell (c.1840)
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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born in England on August 30, 1797. Her parents were two celebrated liberal thinkers, William Godwin, a social philosopher, and Mary Wollstonecraft, a women's rights advocate. Eleven days after Mary's birth, her mother died of puerperal fever. Four motherless years later, Godwin married Mary Jane Clairmont, bringing her and her two children into the same household with Mary and her half-sister, Fanny. Mary's idolization of her father, his detached and rational treatment of their bond, and her step-mother's preference for her own children created a tense and awkward home. Mary's education and free-thinking were encouraged, so it should not surprise us today that at the age of sixteen she ran off with the brilliant, nineteen-year old and unhappily married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley became her ideal, but their life together was a difficult one. Traumas plagued them: Shelley's wife and Mary's half-sister both committed suicide; Mary and Shelley wed shortly after he was widowed but social disapproval forced them from England; three of their children died in infancy or childhood; and while Shelley was an aristocrat and a genius, he was also moody and had little money. Mary conceived of her magnum opus, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, when she was only nineteen when Lord Byron suggested they tell ghost stories at a house party. The resulting book took over two years to write and can be seen as the brilliant creation of a powerful but tormented mind. The story of Frankenstein has endured nearly two centuries and countless variations because of its timeless exploration of the tension between our quest for knowledge and our thirst for good. Shelley drowned when Mary was only 24, leaving her with an infant and debts. She died from a brain tumor on February 1, 1851 at the age of 54. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Frankenstein… (more)
(ita)Please don't combine Shelley with Mary Shelley. Yes, some people will have entered books this way, but it more commonly refers to her husband the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, with whom "Shelley" should also not be combined.
Please don't combine Shelley with Mary Shelley. There is more than one author with that surname.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) was the author of "Frankenstein". Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was the author of "A vindication of the rights of woman" and has a separate author page.
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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born in London, the daughter of two major English intellectuals and writers, Mary Wollstonecraft and her husband William Godwin. She fell in love with Percy Bysshe Shelley, a married man and father, and scandalized society by eloping with him in 1814. Two years later, they were married and in 1818, she published her most famous work, her first novel: Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. She also wrote several other novels, including Valperga (1823) and The Last Man (1826), as well as numerous novellas, short stories, poems, plays, essays, and articles for periodicals of the day, travel books, and a biography of her husband. At the time of Shelley's death in 1822, she was regarded as a major novelist married to a minor poet, but she spent 30 years promoting his work to help him achieve lasting fame.
Please don't combine Shelley with Mary Shelley. There is more than one author with that surname.Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851)
was the author of "Frankenstein". Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was the author of "A vindication of the rights of woman" and has a separate author page
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