Mary Shelley

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1797–1851, English author; daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. In 1814 she fell in love with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, accompanied him abroad, and after the death of his first wife in 1816 was married to him. Her most notable contribution to literature is her novel of terror, Frankenstein, published in 1818. It is the story of a German student who learns the secret of infusing life into inanimate matter and creates a monster that ultimately destroys him. Included among her other novels are Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826), and the partly autobiographical Lodore (1835). After Shelley's death in 1822, she devoted herself to caring for her aged father and educating her only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley. In 1839–40 she edited her husband's works.

See her journal (ed. by F. L. Jones, 1947); her letters (ed. by M. Spark and D. Stamford, 1953); biographies by M. Spark (1951, repr. 1988), N. B. Gerson (1973), and M. Seymour (2001); studies by W. A. Walling (1972), E. Sunstein (1989), and R. Montillo (2013).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Mary Shelley: Selected full-text books and articles

The Cambridge Companion to Mary Shelley By Esther Schor Cambridge University Press, 2003
Mary Shelley: Author of "Frankenstein" By Elizabeth Nitchie Greenwood Press, 1970
Mary Shelley By Richard Church Viking Press, 1928
The Other Mary Shelley: Beyond Frankenstein By Audrey A. Fisch; Anne K. Mellor; Esther H. Schor Oxford University Press, 1993
Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Collier Books, 1961
Mathilda By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley University of North Carolina Press, 1959
Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley: Writing Lives By Helen M. Buss; D. L. Macdonald; Anne McWhir Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2001
The Last Man By Mary Shelley; Morton D. Paley Oxford University Press, 1994
The Godwins and the Shelleys: The Biography of a Family By William St Clair W. W. Norton, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "Mary Wollstonecraft"
Fatal Women of Romanticism By Adriana Craciun Cambridge University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Violence against Difference: Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Robinson, and Women's Strength"
Valperga, Or, the Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; Stuart Curran Oxford University, 2000
The Journals of Mary Shelley, 1814-1844 By Mary Shelley; Paula R. Feldman; Diana Scott-Kilvert Clarendon Press, vol.2, 1987
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