TODAY IN HISTORY: Frankenstein’s “mom” Mary Shelley (Aug. 30, 1797)

TODAY IN HISTORY: Frankenstein’s “mom” Mary Shelley (Aug. 30, 1797)

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Posted January 1, 1970

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On this day, the world welcomed Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley, born in London, England.

Better known as Mary Shelley, she was an English novelist, short story writer, and dramatist. She is most famous for her novel “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus,” which she wrote when she was just 18 years old. The novel, published in 1818, is considered one of the earliest examples of science fiction and remains a classic of Gothic literature.

Mary Shelley was the daughter of two prominent intellectuals: Mary Wollstonecraft, a pioneering advocate for women’s rights and author of “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” and William Godwin, a philosopher and novelist. Raised in a stimulating intellectual environment, Mary Shelley was influenced by the ideas of her parents and the literary circles they moved in.

In 1814, she eloped with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, whom she married in 1816 after the death of his first wife. The couple traveled extensively and mingled with many other significant literary figures of the time, such as Lord Byron. Mary’s life was marked by personal tragedies, including the loss of several of her children and the death of her husband in 1822.

Despite these hardships, Mary Shelley continued to write and publish a variety of works, including novels, short stories, travel writings, and biographies. She remained a significant literary figure throughout her life, contributing to the fields of literature, philosophy, and political thought. Mary Shelley died on February 1, 1851, but her legacy endures through her influential works and the continued relevance of “Frankenstein” in modern culture.

Image of Frankenstein

Image of Frankenstein

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