Presentation on theme: "Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) AP English Mr. Delhagen."— Presentation transcript:
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) AP English Mr. Delhagen
Early Life Born in Somers Town, London, on August 30 th, 1797 Mary’s mother died 10 days after she was born, from puerperal fever Her father raised her and her half-sister (Mary Wollstonecraft’s child, Fanny, from an earlier affair
Parents William Godwin (1756-1836) Journalist, philosopher, and novelist Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) Educator and feminist philosopher known for: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Parents Wollstonecraft and Godwin were eminent thinkers of their time. In spite of despising the institution of marriage, they married so their child could enter society. Adhered to revolutionary principles in both politics and their private lives.
Parent Influence Knew her mother only through her writings. Utmost stress placed on female independence. Influence seen in Mary’s retention of her mother’s name (went by Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin until she married- dropped Godwin, retained Wollstonecraft).
Parent Influence Godwin remarried Mary Jane Vial (Clairmont) Mary Jane brought two of her own children to the marriage. Mary Jane did not encourage intellectual curiosity and did not raise Mary according to her mother’s principles.
Parent Influence Mary never went to school, but was taught to read and write at home. Her father encouraged her to use her imagination, so she started “scribbling” at a very young age. Gave her access to his extensive library of English authors.
Parent Influence William Godwin had many friends who would come by for discussions: political, philosophical, scientific, literary, etc. Godwin allowed Mary to sit quietly in a corner and listen to these discussions. Some of his friends included William Wordsworth, Charles and Mary Lamb, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Hazlitt.
Percy Bysshe Shelley One of her father’s frequent visitors was the widely admired poet Percy Shelley. When Mary was 16, she and Percy eloped to France (he was still married- SCANDAL!) They married in 1816 and lived together for eight years until his untimely death in a boating accident
Personal Tragedies Percy Shelley died in a boating accident at age 29 in 1822 In her journal, Mary described her years with Percy as “romantic beyond romance.” Mary’s romance with Percy Shelley caused a three-year estrangement from her father. Mary gave birth to four children in five years, three of whom died as infants.
Later Life and Death Following Percy’s death in 1822, Mary Shelley returned to England and supported herself, her son, and her father with her writings. She write four novels, including The Last Man (1826), a futuristic story about the destruction of the human race. She collected and annotated Percy Shelley’s poems for publication to preserve his literary legacy. She died in 1851 after a long illness, some have hypothesized was a brain tumor.