Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
55,883 (63,717)1,080252 (3.82)83
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)
Disambiguation Notice

(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.

Frankenstein (Author) 39,569 copies, 675 reviews
Frankenstein (Enriched Classics) 2,298 copies, 43 reviews
The Last Man 1,538 copies, 38 reviews
Dracula / Frankenstein 424 copies, 2 reviews
Mathilda 287 copies, 12 reviews
Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein 241 copies, 5 reviews
Frankenstein 236 copies, 2 reviews
Mary and Maria and Matilda 200 copies, 2 reviews
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein 190 copies, 7 reviews
Frankenstein: The Graphic Novel 168 copies, 14 reviews
The New Annotated Frankenstein 161 copies, 2 reviews
The Annotated Frankenstein 122 copies, 2 reviews
The Essential Frankenstein 112 copies, 1 review
The Mary Shelley Reader 91 copies, 1 review
The Original Frankenstein 86 copies, 3 reviews
The Mortal Immortal 72 copies, 3 reviews
Frankenstein (Graphic Classics) 34 copies, 3 reviews
Proserpine and Midas 31 copies, 1 review
The Pilgrims 20 copies, 3 reviews
Frankenstein 18 copies
Cuentos góticos 14 copies, 1 review
Frankenstein (Macmillan Reader) 13 copies, 2 reviews
Falkner 11 copies
Manga Classics Frankenstein 8 copies, 1 review
Frankenstein 5 copies
Frankenstein [2015 Film] (Novel by) 4 copies
Frankenstein 4 copies
Frankenstein 3 copies
Metamorfosi. Racconti gotici 3 copies, 1 review
Frankenstein (Author) 3 copies
On Ghosts 3 copies
The Dream 3 copies
El sueno 2 copies
Prosèrpina 2 copies
Frankenstein 2 copies, 1 review
Frankenstein 2 copies
On Ghosts 1 copy
Frankenstein 1 copy, 1 review
(all) 1 copy
2008 1 copy
Φρανκενστάιν 1 copy, 1 review
The Book of Fantasy (Contributor) 568 copies, 12 reviews
The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists (Contributor, some editions) 528 copies, 8 reviews
Frankenstein (Great Illustrated Classics) (Original Author) 407 copies, 1 review
Penny Dreadfuls: Sensational Tales of Terror (Contributor) 401 copies, 1 review
The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre (Contributor, some editions) 399 copies, 5 reviews
Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection (Creator) 339 copies, 9 reviews
Complete Poems of Keats and Shelley (Contributor, some editions) 305 copies, 1 review
The Big Book of Classic Fantasy (Contributor) 142 copies, 3 reviews
Frankenstein [1931 film] (Novel) 119 copies, 6 reviews
Chilling Horror Short Stories (Contributor) 104 copies
Dystopia Utopia: Short Stories (Contributor) 103 copies
Seven Masterpieces of Gothic Horror (Contributor) 100 copies, 1 review
The Frankenstein Omnibus (Contributor) 100 copies, 2 reviews
Treasury Of Gothic & Supernatural (Contributor) 95 copies, 3 reviews
The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein (Contributor) 95 copies, 1 review
The Norton Book of Friendship (Contributor) 92 copies
The Bride of Frankenstein [1935 film] (Original book) 81 copies, 2 reviews
Wishbone Classics #07: Frankenstein (Original Story) 74 copies, 1 review
The Vampyre and Other Macabre Tales (Contributor) 74 copies
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Graphic Revolve) (Original Author) 50 copies, 3 reviews
Swords & Steam Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (Contributor) 44 copies, 1 review
Masters of Horror (Contributor) 43 copies, 1 review
The nightmare reader, volume one (Contributor) 41 copies, 2 reviews
Frankenstein: A Pop-Up Book (Author) 41 copies
The Mammoth Book of Body Horror (Mammoth Books) (Contributor) 41 copies, 1 review
In the Shadow of Frankenstein: Tales of the Modern Prometheus (Contributor; Contributor) 38 copies, 1 review
Beyond the Curtain of Dark (Contributor) 36 copies
Twelve Gothic Tales (Oxford Twelves) (Contributor) 28 copies, 3 reviews
Flesh for Frankenstein [1973 film] (Original story) 25 copies, 1 review
Frankenstein (Original story) 25 copies
The Monster of Frankenstein (Contributor) 20 copies
Great English Short Stories (Contributor) 20 copies, 1 review
Cuentos de amor victorianos (Contributor) 19 copies
Horror by Lamplight (Contributor) 17 copies
Science fiction through the ages 1 (Contributor, some editions) 13 copies
Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #1 (Contributor) 10 copies
Edwina Noone's Gothic Sampler (Contributor) 10 copies
Enter at Your Own Risk: Dreamscapes into Darkness (Contributor) 7 copies, 3 reviews
Enter at Your Own Risk: The End Is the Beginning (Contributor) 7 copies, 3 reviews
Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #2 (Contributor) 6 copies
The Frankenstein Monster [1973] #1 (Contributor) 6 copies
The Frankenstein Monster [1973] #4 (Contributor) 5 copies
Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #3 (Contributor) 4 copies
Faseskift. Science Fiction noveller (Author, some editions) 3 copies, 1 review
The Frankenstein Monster [1973] #3 (Contributor) 2 copies
The Nightmare reader (Contributor) 2 copies
The Frankenstein Monster [1974] #2 (Contributor) 2 copies
The Queen’s Story Book (Contributor) 2 copies
Witchcraft [1988 Film] (Actor) 2 copies
The princess's story book (Contributor) 1 copy
The King's Story Book (Contributor) 1 copy

Top members (books)

Member favorites

1001 books (125) 19th century (1,031) 19th century literature (164) anthology (649) British (411) British literature (560) classic (1,949) classic fiction (125) classic literature (281) classics (2,012) diary (123) ebook (263) England (143) English (279) English literature (579) fantasy (562) fiction (5,466) Folio Society (187) Frankenstein (450) gothic (1,371) graphic novel (118) horror (3,818) Kindle (232) literature (1,283) Mary Shelley (317) monster (225) monsters (365) novel (893) own (212) owned (123) paperback (119) poetry (152) read (627) Romanticism (385) science (201) science fiction (2,354) sf (244) short stories (455) to-read (1,770) unread (228)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Cause of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
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.
Disambiguation notice
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.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Mary Shelley's book Enter at Your Own Risk: Dreamscapes into Darkness was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Mary Shelley's book Enter at Your Own Risk: The End is the Beginning was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Mary Shelley's book Frankenstein The Graphic Novel was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Member ratings

Average: (3.82)
0.5 12
1 179
1.5 37
2 742
2.5 149
3 2567
3.5 538
4 4106
4.5 387
5 2953

Author pictures (4)


(see all 4 author pictures)

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Mary Shelley is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.


Mary Shelley is composed of 36 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 188,890,751 books! | Top bar: Always visible