Mary Shelley: Author of "Frankenstein"

By Elizabeth Nitchie | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
1
The Self-Examiner

Shortly after Shelley's widow returned to England from Italy in 18-23, Crabb Robinson met her at Godwin's house. "She looks elegant and sickly and young," he reported. "One would not suppose she was the author of 'Frankenstein.'"1

Certainly there was nothing in Mary Shelley's physical appearance to remind an observer of monsters and presumptuous scientists.2 She was of middle stature with slop-

____________________
1
Brown, The Life of William Godwin, p. 360.
2
A series of articles, "Lord Byron and His Contemporaries, by an Intimate Friend of His Lordship", appeared in the Metropolitan Literary Journal in 1836. In the third article (June 11) is an account of a call on Mrs. Shelley. The anonymous author was prepared to find her loud, masculine, daring; he found her low-voiced, feminine, and timid. In a note to the fifth article, the author owns to the name of Hunt. He may be John H. Hunt, who in the Young Lady's Magazine for 1838 published a story, "Luigi Rivarola: a Tale of Modern Italy", which uses many of the same details. In the story Mary, Byron, and Leigh Hunt are named Mrs. Godwin Percy, Lord Baron, and Mr. Huntley; in the article they are given their real names. But in inaccuracy and pure invention, honors are even.

-3-

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Mary Shelley: Author of "Frankenstein"
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Chapter 1 - The Self-Examiner 3
  • Chapter 2 - An Adverting Mind 22
  • Chapter 3 - Activity of Remembrance 49
  • Chapter 4 - The Godwins of Skinner Street 83
  • Chapter 5 - Albe and the Pirate 107
  • Chapter 6 - Friends, Foes, and Family 128
  • Chapter 7 - The Author: Eager Aspirant 141
  • Chapter 8 - The Author: No Idle Activity 165
  • Chapter 9 - The Keepsake Of Mary Shelley 179
  • Appendix I 201
  • Appendix II 218
  • Appendix III 235
  • Bibliography 241
  • Index 245
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