the time she was nineteen, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley had written one of the most famous novels ever published. Embodying one of the central myths of Western culture, , first published in 1818, tells the story of an overreacher who brings to life the monster who inhabits one's dreams, a tale which still stands as a powerful and enduring example of the creative imagination. Nearly two hundred years later, the story of his creation still inspires stage, film, video, and television productions. In addition to , Mary Shelley wrote six other novels, a novella, mythological dramas, stories and articles, various travel books, and biographical studies. By 1851, the year of her death, she had established a reputation as a prominent author independent of her famous husband, .
Bereft of his companion, Godwin dealt with his affliction in the only way he knew, by intellectual reasoning and reflection. The day after her funeral, he began to sort through 's papers, and by 24 September he had started working on the story of her life. His loving tribute to her, published in January 1798 as the , is a sensitive but full and factual account of the life and writings of his wife, including Wollstonecraft's infatuation with the painter Henry Fuseli; her affair with American speculator and former officer in the American Revolutionary Army, Gilbert Imlay, the father of her illegitimate daughter, Fanny; and her two unsuccessful attempts at taking her own life. Godwin's noble intention was to immortalize his wife, whom he considered to be a "person of eminent merit." Instead of expressing admiration, however, the public condemned Wollstonecraft as licentious, and read her attempted suicides in terms of her lack of religious convictions. When Godwin had declared in the that "There are not many individuals with whose character the public welfare and improvement are more intimately connected" than his subject, he could not have predicted how accurately and with what irony this statement would become true. For at least the next hundred years the feminist cause was to suffer setback after setback because of society's association of sexual promiscuity with those who advocated the rights of women. In the index to the of 1798, for example, "See " is the only entry listed under "Prostitution," and the Wollstonecraft listing ends with a cross-reference to "Prostitution." Such was the complex and ambiguous heritage Mary Shelley received from her mother. She was to grow up with what Anne K. Mellor had described as a "powerful and ever-to-be frustrated need to be mothered," as well as with the realization that the parent she had never known was both celebrated as a pioneer reformer of woman's rights and education, and castigated as an "unsex'd female."
Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Read it …
In a recent reading of , Mellor demonstrates a link between events, dates, and names in the novel and those in Mary Shelley 's life. Mellor argues that the novel is born out of a "doubled fear, the fear of a woman that she may not be able to bear a healthy normal child and the fear of a putative author that she may not be able to write.... the book is her created self as well as her child." Dated 11 December 17--to 12 September 17--, the letters that form the narration of the novel--from Walton to his sister Margaret Walton Saville (whose initials are those of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley )--are written during a period similar in duration to Mary Shelley 's third pregnancy, during which she wrote . Mellor discovered that the day and date on which Walton first sees the creature, Monday, 31 July, had coincided in 1797, the year in which Mary Shelley was born. This fact and other internal evidence led Mellor to conclude that the novel ends on 12 September 1797, two days after 's death: " Mary Shelley thus symbolically fused her book's beginning and ending with her own--Victor Frankenstein's death, the Monster's promised suicide, and her mother's death from puerperal fever can all be seen as the consequence of the same creation, the birth of the author."
Frankenstein Book Mary Shelley Wikipedia 2018 - …
Mary Shelley 's relationship with her stepmother was strained. The new Mrs. Godwin resented Mary's intense affection for her father and was jealous of the special interest visitors showed in the product of the union between the two most radical thinkers of the day. Not only did she demand that Mary do household chores, she constantly encroached on Mary's privacy, opening her letters and limiting her access to Godwin. Nor did she encourage Mary's intellectual development or love of reading. While her daughter, Jane (who later called herself Claire), was sent to boarding school to learn French, Mary never received any formal education. She learned to read from Louisa Jones, Godwin, and his wife, and followed Godwin's advice that the proper way to study was to read two or three books simultaneously. Fortunately, she had access to her father's excellent library, as well as to the political, philosophical, scientific, or literary conversations that Godwin conducted with such visitors as , , , , John Johnson, Humphry Davy, Horne Tooke, and William Hazlitt. For example, on 24 August 1806 Mary and Jane hid under the parlor sofa to hear recite "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," a poem which later haunted both (1818) and (1837).
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On her return to London in November 1812, Mary met for the first time Godwin's new, young, and wealthy disciple, , and his wife, Harriet Westbrook Shelley. The son of a man of fortune, Percy had received a superior education at Eton and briefly at Oxford. Before the age of seventeen, he had published two Gothic romances, (1810) and (1811), and now, influenced by Godwinian precepts, he desired to benefit humanity more directly. shared Godwin's belief that the greatest justice is done when he who possesses money gives it to whomever has greatest need of it. Therefore it was not long before Shelley was supporting Godwin financially. When Mary next met the tall, frail-looking, elegant Percy, on 5 May 1814, she viewed him as a generous young idealist and as a budding genius. He, in turn, had become dissatisfied with his wife and was affected by Mary's beauty, her intellectual interests, and, above all, by her identity as the "daughter of William and Mary."