Author Series: Mary Shelley


“You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been.” –Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein (1818)

There are many notable things about Mary Shelley (born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin) that may surprise you. First of all, she wrote the famous Gothic novel Frankenstein when she was a teenager. At 18 she began writing the classic work of fiction about a story about a scientist who a creates a living being, but rejects him fearing he is a monster. Some say the novel is the first to be considered science-fiction.

The book was published when she was 21-years-old in London without her name. In its second edition, published in France, Mary Shelley’s name was included. Mary was the daughter of two very famous authors Mary Wollstonecraft, a feminist and writer, and William Godwin, a political journalist. She began writing at a very young age, with her first poem published at the age of 10.

Much of Ms. Shelley’s life was filled with travel, financial hardships and death with the loss of her mother when she was a baby and a two of her four children she had with her husband Percy Shelley. Shelley wrote her entire life, publishing travel works and other novels like Lodore and The Last Man, another pice of science-fiction.

Despite challenges in her lifetime, she had much literary and writing success as an author, biographer, dramatist and travel writer. To learn more about this influential novelist and the fiction she wrote, explore the selected works and quiz below.

Mary Shelley

Learn more about the author who wrote Frankenstein and see how much you know about the novel.

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