Mary Shelley

Standard Name: Shelley, Mary
Birth Name: Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin
Married Name: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Pseudonym: Mary S.
Pseudonym: Mrs Caroline Barnard
MS , long known almost exclusively for Frankenstein, is now being read for her later novels and her plays, as well as for her journals and letters. Her editing, reviewing, biographical, and journalistic work entitle her to the designation woman of letters. She is an important figure among women Romantics, and a channel for the reformist ideals of the 1790s forwards into the Victorian era.
Half-length painting of Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell, exhibited 1840. She sits on a red-draped couch, gazing serenely forward, wearing a black dress that leaves her shoulders bare. She has a gold waistband and gold band in her hair. A vertical streak of light on the right is thought by some to represent the spirit of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley. National Portrait Gallery.
"Mary Shelley" Retrieved from This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
death Percy Bysshe Shelley
PBS , poet and husband of Mary Shelley , drowned near La Spezia in Italy when his boat capsized in a storm.
Stephen, Sir Leslie, and Sidney Lee, editors. The Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Elder, 1908.
death William Godwin
WG , novelist, political philosopher, widower of Mary Wollstonecraft , and father of Mary Shelley , died in London.
Sherburn, George, and William Godwin. “Introduction”. Caleb Williams, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1960, p. vii - xx.
Education Mary Cowden Clarke
MCC later remembered her responsibility, when very young, of escorting her two next younger brothers to their school.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. My Long Life. Dodd, Mead, 1896.
Unlike them, she began her education at home. She writes fondly about the rich array of...
Family and Intimate relationships Mary Cowden Clarke
Both Novellos were close friends of Mary Shelley during the 1820s. Mary gave Vincent a lock of the hair of her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft .
Crook, Nora. “Fourteen New Letters by Mary Shelley”. Keats-Shelley Journal, pp. 37 -61.
Family and Intimate relationships Elizabeth Inchbald
Mary Shelley said of EI : Very susceptible to the softer feelings, she could yet guard herself against passion.
Manvell, Roger. Elizabeth Inchbald: England’s Principal Woman Dramatist and Independent Woman of Letters in 18th Century London. University Press of America, 1987.
Although she was a flirt, she was known to be chaste.
Conger, Syndy McMillen. “Multivocality in Mary Shelley’s Unfinished Memoirs of Her Father”. European Romantic Review, No. 3, pp. 303 - 22.
Family and Intimate relationships Tillie Olsen
Tillie Lerner's instructor and inspiration in political radicalism, Eugene Konecky , was also interested in erotic relations with young girls.
Reid, Panthea. Tillie Olsen: One Woman, Many Riddles. Rutgers University Press, 2010.
37, 41
In summer 1927 she took my first lover—probably a young man named...
Family and Intimate relationships Mary Wollstonecraft
After a long and painful labour, MW bore her second daughter, Mary .
Tomalin, Claire. The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft. Penguin, 1992.
Family and Intimate relationships W. H. Auden
Nicholas Jenkins of Stanford University formerly maintained on his website at a section called W. H. Auden. Family Ghosts, designed to show how Auden's family, despite his claims to ordinariness, sprang from a...
Family and Intimate relationships William Godwin
He was already famous (or, to some, infamous) for his writings when he and Mary Wollstonecraft became lovers in August 1796. They married on 29 March 1797 (although both of them disapproved of the institution...
Family and Intimate relationships Percy Bysshe Shelley
In 1814 PBS 's successive half-serious erotic relationships with other women were all displaced by his love for Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin , the daughter of parents, one dead and one living, whom he passionately admired...
Friends, Associates Mary Cowden Clarke
MCC 's parents frequently entertained eminent literary figures in a drawing-room where the paintings were all executed by distinguished friends. At an early age she became acquainted with Charles and Mary Lamb , Leigh Hunt
Friends, Associates William Hazlitt
In 1817 he was sitting up until three in the morning with Percy and Mary Shelley discussing monarchy and republicanism.
Shelley, Mary. The Journals of Mary Shelley, 1814-1844. Feldman, Paula R. and Diana Scott-KilvertEditors , Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
Friends, Associates Alice Meynell
Following her early conquest of Tennyson , AM went on to develop a large circle of literary acquaintances. Callers on the Meynells at Palace Court included Irish writer Katharine Tynan , Aubrey Beardsley (while he...
Friends, Associates Thomas Moore
His social circle included prominent literary women: Mary Tighe , sisters Lady Morgan (Sydney Owenson) and Olivia Clarke , Mary Shelley , Marguerite Blessington , Louisa Stuart Costello , and Caroline Norton . He knew...
Friends, Associates Caroline Norton
CN found solace and political support in other friendships. Lawyer Abraham Hayward and MP Thomas Noon Talfourd became her allies in her attempts to change the law on custody of children, and gossip soon alleged...


4 April 1788
At about the time that he lost his religious faith, William Godwin began keeping a diary, which he continued almost daily until 26 March 1836, only two weeks before he died.
The Last Man, or Omegarus and Syderia, a Romance in Futurity appeared anonymously (twenty years before Mary Shelley 's novel with the same main title): it was translated from Jean-Baptiste François-Xavier Cousin de Grainville 's...
10 April 1815
The largest volcanic eruption in modern times, that of Mount Tambora in what is now Indonesia, buried an entire civilization. It had twice the magnitude of the later Krakatoa eruption.
The launching of the first Rhine pleasure boat powered by steam amazed onlookers and was reported in newspapers. The first cross-Channel steamer began operating the same year.
By 18 September 1820
A nationwide campaign of women petitioning on behalf of Queen Caroline was one factor in the abandoning of her trial for adultery.
In Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spake Zarathustra), Friedrich Nietzsche coined his idea of the lastman, as the citizen of a democray, who has, Nietsche thought, abandoned self-mastery and settled for living as a slave.
By early October 1930
London publisher Gerald Howe issued a composite biography entitled Six Women of the World, which had previously made up six volumes in a Representative Women series, 1927-9.