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Somers Town 30 Aug. 1797 - London 1 Feb. 1851 ē English novelist
|Mary Shelley was born in London in 1797, the daughter of two well-known writers and radical political thinkers. Her mother, the proto-feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, died ten days after Shelley was born. Shelley grew up worshiping her father, William Godwin (to whom Frankenstein is dedicated). Emotionally distant, he nonetheless oversaw her education and held high expectations for her intellectual development and literary ambition. It was through her father that Mary met the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, then a young married man who admired Godwin's work and frequently visited their home. Mary was sixteen and Shelley was still married (and his wife pregnant) when they eloped to the continent to escape Godwin's wrath, taking with them Claire Clairmont, Mary's stepsister.
Much of Mary Shelley's life was marked by tumult and tragedy, giving her ample material for the themes of abandonment and loss that pervade Frankenstein. A daughter
| was born prematurely in 1815 and died a few days later. In 1816, when Mary, Percy, and Claire were neighbors of the poet Lord Byron in Switzerland, Byron proposed that for entertainment the assembled company, which included Byron's personal physician, each write "a ghost story." Mary began to write Frankenstein. That same year, her half-sister, Fanny Imlay, committed suicide. A few months later, Percy's wife, Harriet, drowned. In December 1816, Mary and Percy were married in London. They had four children altogether, only one of whom survived childhood, before Percy Shelley drowned at sea in 1822.
During her lifetime, Mary Shelley wrote several novels, including Frankenstein (1818) and The Last Man (1826). She collected Percy Shelley's posthumous poetry and wrote biographical essays as well as numerous articles and stories for magazines. She died in London in 1851, at age fifty-three. (from: www.penguinputnam.com)
|ON MARY SHELLEY'S BOOKSHELF|
Aphra Behn, 1688
The Collected Poems
Lord Byron, ...
The Steinsaltz Edition, ???
The Castle of Otranto
Horace Walpole, 1764
Matthew Lewis, 1796
The Italian, or, The Confessional of the Black Penitents
Ann Radcliffe, 1797
William Godwin, 1794
William Wordsworth / Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798
|BOOKS BY MARY SHELLEY:|
Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear.
|WHAT TO READ AFTER FRANKENSTEIN?|
DON'T FOOL WITH GENETICS
Michael Crichton, 1991
Brave New World
Aldous Huxley, 1932
Harry Mulisch, 1998
INFLUENCED BY FRANKENSTEIN: HORROR CLASSICS
Guy de Maupassant, 1887
Bram Stoker, 1897
The Turn of the Screw
Henry James, 1898
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Edgar Allan Poe, 1833-1849
INFLUENCED BY FRANKENSTEIN: SCIENCE FICTION CLASSICS
The Time Machine
H.G. Wells, 1895
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Jules Verne, 1864
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1886
The Island of Dr Moreau
H.G. Wells, 1896
MODERN CLASSIC HORROR
Stephen King, 1974
Interview with the Vampire
Anne Rice, 1976
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL TALES
[Huis te huur]
F. Bordewijk, 1999 (collection of stories written between 1937-1951)
[Al zijn fantasieŽn]
Belcampo, 1979 (the stories were written between 1936-1968)
Completely Unexpected Tales
Roald Dahl, 1986 (collection)
|The Last Man |
Shelley's 'other great novel' is about the sole survivor of an epidemic that destroys the world.
By the author of Frankenstein: on her deathbed, Mathilda tells the story of her father's confession of incestuous love for her, followed by his suicide.
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