Mary Shelly's Gothic Novel Frankenstein

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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly was born in London in 1797. She was the daughter of William Godwin, who was a political philosopher, and Mary Wollstonecraft, who also was a philosopher and a feminist. Mary’s mother sadly died shortly after giving birth to her, and Mary and half sister Fanny, soon gained a stepsister, Claire, when her father remarried Mary Jane Clairmont. Around 1814 Mary met Percy Bysshe Shelly, who was a Romantic poet and philosopher. They both fell in love; however Shelly was actually unhappily married to Harriet Westbrook at this time. Despite Mary’s father forbidding her to see Shelly anymore (because he was married) they and Claire fled to France in tow for a six week tour of Europe. Upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy’s child, but tragically their premature daughter died. In 1816 they then, married shortly after the suicide of Harriet Westbrook. Soon after this the couple famously spent the summer with Lord Byron, Claire Clairmont and John William Polidori near Geneva, Switzerland. This was where Mary started writing Frankenstein. Although Mary was a novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel written, she was best known for her renowned Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. The tile of the novel refers to a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who creates a being, using dead human body parts. This creature that he creates causes utter havoc, misery and pain. It’s an extremely thrilling novel, and even Mary was quite surprised she created such a terrifying novel at the time: ‘How I, then a young girl, came to think of, and to dilate upon, so very hideous an idea? It was at Lord Byron’s Villa, Diodati, by Lake Geneva ... ... middle of paper ... ...cis Bibliography Web addresses • • • • • • • Books • Mary Shelley’s introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein • ‘Preface’, 1831 edition of Frankenstein • Mary Shelly, 1818 Oxford edition of Frankenstein • Mary Shelly - A Literary life, By John Williams, Great Britain 2000 By Macmillan Press LTD • Pamela Horn, The Victorian town child (Stroud: Sutton, 1997)
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