Presentation on theme: "(1797-1851) English author who wrote the Gothic horror story Frankenstein or; The Modern Prometheus (1818)"— Presentation transcript:
(1797-1851) English author who wrote the Gothic horror story Frankenstein or; The Modern Prometheus (1818)
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was born on 30 August 1797 in London, England, the second daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
Feminist and author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792). Mary had two children in her lifetime, although she helped to raise and educate far more. Mary's first daughter, Fanny Imlay, was born May 14, 1794. This child was the product of her relationship with Gilbert Imlay, whom she did not marry. Mary's second daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, was born on August 30, 1797. Unfortunately, Mary died of "child- bed" (or puerperal) fever 11 days later.
He was one of the first English- language writers to recognize the threat of state-controlled education and to set out the qualities of an alternative, free, education. William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft became lovers. On falling pregnant, Wollstonecraft asked Godwin to marry her in (which he did in 1797 even though he was deeply critical of the institution - he believed that in this particular instance the ‘goods’ outweighed the ‘evils’).
In 1801, Mary gained a stepsister, Claire, when her father remarried Mary Jane Clairmont. Claire and Mary would remain very close for the rest of their lives. There were bitter times for Mary growing up with a cruel step mother and emotionally distant father; she consoled herself at her mother’s graveside and spent periods of time in Scotland with friends of the family. Evil Stepmother?
Sweet Step-Sister Portrait By Aemilia Curran, 1819 Claire Clairmont was Mary Shelley's half-sister, and the daughter of William Godwin and Mary Jane Clairmont. Claire ran off with Mary and Percy when they traveled to Lake Geneva, and was present when Mary first made up the story of Frankenstein. She ended up in a love affair with Lord Byron, bearing his daughter, Allegra, in January 1817.
UNUSUAL FOR GIRLS AT THE TIME, MARY RECEIVED AN EXCELLENT EDUCATION. She was educated at home by tutors were she studied her parent’s writings and literature and poetry, as well as learning Latin, French, and Italian. She also read the works of the Enlightenment literary figures her unorthodox parents associated with including the poets William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Charles Lamb. Her first publication was a poem at the age of 10.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY A political radical and free- thinker like her father, Percy Bysshe Shelley and his first wife Harriet often visited Godwin's home and bookshop in London.
Mary and Percy eloped in July 1814 to continental Europe when she is 16 years old. Godwin, her father refuses to communicate with her for the next 2 ½ years (until they marry). Meanwhile, Harriet, Percy’s first wife, is pregnant with their second child and gives birth in November 1814.
February 1815 Mary gives birth prematurely to daughter Clara who dies two weeks later. Mary and Shelley married in 1816 after Shelley's first wife, Harriet, committed suicide by drowning. Soon after, Percy and Mary had a son: William (1816- 1819). In 1817, they had a second daughter, also named Clara. While traveling to Italy with Claire Clairmont in 1818, Mary and Percy Shelley brought their infant children, William and Clara. The two babies both soon passed away and the Shelley's third and only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley, was born in 1819. This portrait of William was painted weeks before his death.
In 1822, Shelley suffered a miscarriage which almost took her life. The same year, as was one of his favorite past times, Percy was sailing on his schooner ‘Don Juan’ with friend Edward Williams when a sudden storm struck and it sank. Percy’s body washed ashore and as were his wishes, he was cremated on the beach near Viareggio. Mary soon devoted her energies to the massive undertaking of compiling his poetry and writing extensive notes for them included in The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe (1824).
Devastated by her loss, in 1823 Mary returned to England with her son Percy. Percy Bysshe’s father Sir Timothy Shelley provided his grandson Percy an annual income whilst he attended school before he inherited the estate and title in 1844 when Sir Timothy died. Mary continued work on her own novels including Valperga (1823) and wrote numerous short stories, essays, poems, and reviews
Her second most popular novel, The Last Man was published in 1826. Other works to follow include; Perkin Warbeck (1830), Ledore (1835), Falkner (1837), and Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844).
Possibly brought on by the strain of her prolific writing career or various travels, by the early 1840’s Shelley often suffered bouts of illness that would plague her for her remaining years. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley died at home in London at the age of 54 on 1 February 1851. She lies buried in St. Peter’s churchyard in Bournemouth, Dorset, England.