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.


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.
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, 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.
Unlike them, she began her education at home. She writes fondly about the rich array of...
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.
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.
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...
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, Vol.
, 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.
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, Vol.
, No. 3, pp. 303-22.
Friends, Associates Margiad Evans
A young poet whom she calls B—, a descendant of Percy Shelley (and therefore presumably of Mary Shelley too), whom she had known since his boyhood, moved from his own cottage to stay with ME
Friends, Associates John Keats
Keats was taught and was influenced as a young man by Charles Cowden Clarke . Another important literary friendship was that with Leigh Hunt , then Percy and Mary Shelley and William Hazlitt .
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray et al., editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Friends, Associates Eliza Fenwick
On 23 July 1810, after a year which she said had taught [her] new griefs whose nature she does not explain, Fenwick wrote in anguish to Hays, who had stopped communicating with her. She knew...
Friends, Associates Eliza Fenwick
EF fully shared in her husband's friendship with William Godwin . She exchanged visits with him, sometimes with one or other of her children, from the time she first entertained him in November 1788. He...
Friends, Associates Mary Lamb
Friends were still being added to the Lambs' circle late in their lives, including literary friends like John Clare and Thomas Hood . Charles corresponded with Mary Shelley ; ML corresponded with Mary Matilda Betham


4 April 1788: At about the time that he lost his religious...

Writing climate item

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.

1806: The Last Man, or Omegarus and Syderia, a...

Writing climate item


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,...

National or international item

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...

Building item


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...

National or international item

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.

1883: In Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spake Zarathustra),...

Writing climate item


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...

Building item

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.


Shelley, Mary. “Chronology”. The Journals of Mary Shelley: 1814-1844, edited by Paula R. Feldman and Diana Scott-Kilvert, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995, p. xxxvii - xlii.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe. Essays, Letters from Abroad, Translations and Fragments. Editor Shelley, Mary, Edward Moxon, 1840.
Shelley, Mary. Falkner. Saunders and Otley, 1837.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mayor and Jones.
Shelley, Mary, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. History of a Six Weeks’ Tour Through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany and Holland. T. Hookham and C. and J. Ollier, 1817.
Shelley, Mary. “Introduction”. Frankenstein, edited by David Lorne Macdonald and Kathleen Scherf, Broadview, 1994, pp. 11-43.
Shelley, Mary. “Introduction”. The Last Man, edited by Anne McWhir, Broadview, 1996, p. xiii - xlv.
Shelley, Mary. “Introduction”. Lodore, edited by Lisa Vargo, Broadview, 1997, pp. 9-45.
Shelley, Mary. Lodore. Richard Bentley, 1835.
Shelley, Mary. Lodore. Editor Vargo, Lisa, Broadview, 1997.
Shelley, Mary. Mary Shelley’s Literary Lives and Other Writings. Editor Crook, Nora, Pickering and Chatto, 2002.
Shelley, Mary. Mathilda. Editor Nitchie, Elizabeth, University of North Carolina Press, 1959.
Shelley, Mary. Novels and Selected Works. Editor Crook, Nora, William Pickering, 1996.
Shelley, Mary. Perkin Warbeck. Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1830.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe. Posthumous Poems. Editor Shelley, Mary, John and Henry L. Hunt, 1824.
Shelley, Mary. Proserpine & Midas: Two Unpublished Mythological Dramas by Mary Shelley. Editor Koszul, André Henri, Humphrey Milford, 1922.
Shelley, Mary. “Prosperine”. The Winter’s Wreath, Whittaker, pp. 1-20.
Shelley, Mary. Rambles in Germany and Italy in 1840, 1842 and 1843. Edward Moxon, 1844.
Shelley, Mary. The Journals of Mary Shelley, 1814-1844. Editors Feldman, Paula R. and Diana Scott-Kilvert, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
Shelley, Mary. The Last Man. Editor McWhir, Anne, Broadview, 1996.
Shelley, Mary. The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Editor Bennett, Betty T., Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980.
Shelley, Mary. Valperga. G. and W. B. Whittaker, 1823.