She was the only child of Mary Wollstonecraft, the famous feminist, and William Godwina philosopher and novelist. She was also the wife of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary was born during the eighth year of the French Revolution.
She was the second child of the feminist philosopher, educator, and writer Mary Wollstonecraftand the first child of the philosopher, novelist, and journalist William Godwin. Wollstonecraft died of puerperal fever shortly after Mary was born.
Godwin was left to bring up Mary, along with her older half-sister, Fanny ImlayWollstonecraft's child by the American speculator Gilbert Imlay.
However, because the Memoirs revealed Wollstonecraft's affairs and her illegitimate child, they were seen as shocking. Mary Godwin read these memoirs and her mother's books, and was brought up to cherish her mother's memory.
Godwin, which sold children's books as well as stationery, maps, and games. However, the business did not turn a profit, and Godwin was forced to borrow substantial sums to keep it going. ByGodwin's business was close to failure, and he was "near to despair".
He often took the children on educational outings, and they had access to his library and to the many intellectuals who visited him, including the Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the former vice-president of the United States Aaron Burr.
She had a governessa daily tutor, and read many of her father's children's books on Roman and Greek history in manuscript. Her desire of knowledge is great, and her perseverance in everything she undertakes almost invincible.
It was beneath the trees of the grounds belonging to our house, or on the bleak sides of the woodless mountains near, that my true compositions, the airy flights of my imagination, were born and fostered.
Percy Shelley therefore had difficulty gaining access to money until he inherited his estate, because his family did not want him wasting it on projects of "political justice". After several months of promises, Shelley announced that he either could not or would not pay off all of Godwin's debts.
Godwin was angry and felt betrayed. At about the same time, Mary's father learned of Shelley's inability to pay off the father's debts. She saw Percy Shelley as an embodiment of her parents' liberal and reformist ideas of the s, particularly Godwin's view that marriage was a repressive monopoly, which he had argued in his edition of Political Justice but since retracted.
After convincing Mary Jane Godwin, who had pursued them to Calaisthat they did not wish to return, the trio travelled to Paris, and then, by donkey, mule, carriage, and foot, through a France recently ravaged by war, to Switzerland.
They travelled down the Rhine and by land to the Dutch port of Marsluysarriving at Gravesend, Kenton 13 September When the poet Robert Southey met Shelley, he felt as if he were seeing himself from the s.
The situation awaiting Mary Godwin in England was fraught with complications, some of which she had not foreseen. Either before or during the journey, she had become pregnant.
She and Percy now found themselves penniless, and, to Mary's genuine surprise, her father refused to have anything to do with her. They maintained their intense programme of reading and writing, and entertained Percy Shelley's friends, such as Thomas Jefferson Hogg and the writer Thomas Love Peacock.
My dearest Hogg my baby is dead—will you come to see me as soon as you can. I wish to see you—It was perfectly well when I went to bed—I awoke in the night to give it suck it appeared to be sleeping so quietly that I would not awake it.
At Bishopsgate, Percy wrote his poem Alastor ; and on 24 JanuaryMary gave birth to a second child, William, named after her father, and soon nicknamed "Willmouse". They planned to spend the summer with the poet Lord Byronwhose recent affair with Claire had left her pregnant.
Byron joined them on 25 May, with his young physician, John William Polidori and rented the Villa Diodaticlose to Lake Geneva at the village of Cologny ; Percy Shelley rented a smaller building called Maison Chapuis on the waterfront nearby. I was asked each morning, and each morning I was forced to reply with a mortifying negative.
I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion.
Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world. With Percy Shelley's encouragement, she expanded this tale into her first novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheuspublished in In Septemberthe astronomer Donald Olson, after a visit to the Lake Geneva villa the previous year, and inspecting data about the motion of the moon and stars, concluded that her waking dream took place "between 2am and 3am" 16 Juneseveral days after the initial idea by Lord Byron that they each write a ghost story.
Mellor later argued Percy only "made many technical corrections and several times clarified the narrative and thematic continuity of the text. Robinson, editor of a facsimile edition of the Frankenstein manuscripts, concluded that Percy's contributions to the book "were no more than what most publishers' editors have provided new or old authors or, in fact, what colleagues have provided to each other after reading each other's works in progress.Through the study of Mary Shelley’s journals and her biography, one becomes aware of how important study and research were to her.
Her biography tells how the influence of her literary parents and husband provided her with a unique educational experience and how she was encouraged to .
Mary, Shelley, Byron, and Keats were principle figures in Romanticism’s second generation. Whereas the poets died young in the ’s, Mary lived through the Romantic era into the Victorian. Mary was born during the eighth year of the French Revolution. Watch video · Early Life.
Writer Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on August 30, , in London, England. The day after her funeral, he began to sort through Mary Wollstonecraft's papers, which was based on journal entries and long letters home to Fanny.
For this work Mary had as a literary model her mother's Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters (New York & London: Methuen. Before Mary Shelley wrote her most popular novel, she published History of a Six Weeks' Tour through a part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland, with Letters descriptive of a Sail round the Lake of Geneva, and of the Glaciers of Chamouni (), which was .
At Cologny, Mary Godwin had received two letters from her half-sister, Fanny Imlay, who alluded to her "unhappy life"; on 9 October, Fanny wrote an "alarming letter" from Bristol that sent Percy Shelley racing off to search for her, without success.