Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft

orig. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin

born Aug. 30, 1797, London, Eng.
died Feb. 1, 1851, London

English Romantic novelist.

The only daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, she met and eloped with Percy B. Shelley in 1814. They married in 1816 after his first wife committed suicide. Mary Shelley's best-known work is Frankenstein (1818), a narrative of the dreadful consequences of a scientist's artificially creating a human being. After her husband's death in 1822, she devoted herself to publicizing his writings and educating their son. Of her several other novels, the best, The Last Man (1826), is an account of the future destruction of the human race by a plague.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, detail of an oil painting by Richard Rothwell, first exhibited 1840; ...

Courtesy of The National Portrait Gallery, London

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▪ British author
née  Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin 
born Aug. 30, 1797, London, Eng.
died Feb. 1, 1851, London
 English Romantic novelist best known as the author of Frankenstein.

      The only daughter of William Godwin (Godwin, William) and Mary Wollstonecraft (Wollstonecraft, Mary), she met the young poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (Shelley, Percy Bysshe) in 1812 and eloped with him to France in July 1814. The couple were married in 1816, after Shelley's first wife had committed suicide. After her husband's death in 1822, she returned to England and devoted herself to publicizing Shelley's writings and to educating their only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley. She published her late husband's Posthumous Poems (1824); she also edited his Poetical Works (1839), with long and invaluable notes, and his prose works. Her Journal is a rich source of Shelley biography, and her letters are an indispensable adjunct.

      Mary Shelley's best-known book is Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818, revised 1831), a text that is part Gothic novel and part philosophical novel; it is also often considered an early example of science fiction. It narrates the dreadful consequences that arise after a scientist has artificially created a human being. (The man-made monster in this novel inspired a similar creature in numerous American horror films.) She wrote several other novels, including Valperga (1823), The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck (1830), Lodore (1835), and Falkner (1837); The Last Man (1826), an account of the future destruction of the human race by a plague, is often ranked as her best work. Her travel book History of a Six Weeks' Tour (1817) recounts the continental tour she and Shelley took in 1814 following their elopement and then recounts their summer near Geneva in 1816.

      Late 20th-century publications of her casual writings include The Journals of Mary Shelley, 1814–1844 (1987), edited by Paula R. Feldman and Diana Scott-Kilvert, and Selected Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1995), edited by Betty T. Bennett.

Additional Reading
Muriel Spark, Mary Shelley (1987); Anne K. Mellor, Mary Shelley (1988); Emily W. Sunstein, Mary Shelley (1989).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft — ► (1797 1851) Escritora británica, hija de William Godwin y segunda esposa de Shelley. Autora de Frankenstein (1818). * * * orig. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (30 ago. 1797, Londres, Inglaterra–1 feb. 1851, Londres). Novelista romántica inglesa.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • SHELLEY, MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT —    author of Frankenstein, daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft; became the wife of the poet Shelley in 1816 after a two years illicit relationship; besides Frankenstein (1828), wrote several romances, The Last Man, Lodore, &c.,… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft —  (1797–1851) English writer, and second wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822), English poet …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Shelley,Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin — Shel·ley (shĕlʹē), Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. 1797 1851. British writer best known for the Gothic novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (1818). She married Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1816. * * * …   Universalium

  • Mary Wollstonecraft-Shelley — Mary Shelley, 1840 gemalt von Richard Rothwell Mary Shelley (* 30. August 1797 in London; † 1. Februar 1851 ebenda), geborene Mary Godwin, häufig auch als Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley bezeichnet, war eine englische Schriftstellerin des frühen 19.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley — Mary Shelley, 1840 gemalt von Richard Rothwell Mary Shelley (* 30. August 1797 in London; † 1. Februar 1851 ebenda), geborene Mary Godwin, häufig auch als Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley bezeichnet, war eine englische Schriftstellerin des frühen 19.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mary Wollstonecraft — Portrait par John Opie (v. 1797). Activités Femme de lettres Naissan …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin — Mary Shelley Demande de traduction Mary Shelley → …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mary Wollstonecraft — (Hoxton, 1759 Londres, 1797) Escritora británica. Es autora, entre otras obras, de una Reivindicación de los derechos de la mujer (1792), considerado como el primer escrito teórico del feminismo. Viajó a Francia durante la revolución, y, de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mary Wollstonecraft — by John Opie (c. 1797) Mary Wollstonecraft ( …   Wikipedia

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