Fun Facts Friday: Mary Shelley

August 30, 2013

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (30 August, 1787 – 1 February, 1851) was an English author who is most widely known for her novel, Frankenstein.

Fun Facts Friday Mary Shelley

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More Books by Mary Shelley

  1. Mary’s mother died only 10 days after giving her birth.
  2. Mary didn’t have a formal education, however she made great use of her father’s library.
  3. Mary met poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1814. Percy was a student of her father and was married to his first wife when he and Mary (still a teenager) fled England.
  4. Shelley was 18 or 19 when she wrote Frankenstein when her and her husband played a game with Lord Byron and his wife where they each had to make up a scary story. Mary told of a dream she had while travelling in Geneva, which was the storyline of the novel.
  5. In 1815 Mary gave birth to a baby girl who lived for only a few days. The Shelleys suffered the deaths of two more children as well as a marriage riddled with adultery.
  6. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus debuted in 1818 and was attributed to an anonymous author. Percy Shelley wrote the introduction and many thought he wrote the novel as well.
  7. The title character of Frankenstein is actually the scientist, not the monster he created.
  8. After her husband’s death from drowning (leaving Mary a widow at age 24), Mary Shelly wrote several more novels and devoted herself to promote her husband’s poetry.
  9. Author Brian Aldiss argued that Frankenstein is the first true science fiction story because the central character “makes a deliberate decision” and “turns to modern experiments in the laboratory” to achieve the results.
  10. A century after Mary’s passing from brain cancer, her novel Mathilda was released.

More Books by Mary Shelley

Zohar – Man of la Book

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  • Ryan September 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    As an addendum to number 4, apparently Mary Shelley’s story was so scary that none of the others in attendance told a story and she was declared the winner.

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