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Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley

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1 Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley

2 Mary Shelley Born August 30, 1797 Father: William Godwin
Minister turned atheist Radical philosopher and anarchist Believed in human beings as rational creatures who did not need institutions or laws to live peaceably An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793)

3 Mary Shelley Father: William Godwin
Believed that man is not born evil but becomes vicious through circumstances set up by those wielding political power

4 Mary Shelley Mother: Mary Wollstonecraft
Proto-feminist best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), a companion to her A Vindication of the Rights of Man (1791) ROW: women constitute an oppressed class cutting across the standard social hierarchy Much of the monster’s plea for justice comes from ROW

5 Mary Shelley Mother: Mary Wollstonecraft
Had daughter Fanny by Charles Imlay (American, not married to him) Began affair with Godwin in 1796 Married Godwin after becoming pregnant with Mary Died 11 days after giving birth to Mary

6 Mary Shelley Mary raised by father in his circle of radical friends
Coleridge recited Rime in her living room Aaron Burr spoke of American democracy Scientists and painters as well Read extensively (all 3 books the monster reads were on her reading list of 1815)

7 Mary Shelley Family life Tension with step-mother
Rebellion & skin rashes Shipped off to Scotland (setting for parts of Frankenstein)

8 Mary Shelley Met Percy Shelley in 1812 Just expelled from Oxford over
atheist writings 1814 Shelley’s marriage rocky, meets Mary again Godwin forbids relationship, Shelley threatens suicide Eloped to France but couldn’t marry (Mary is 16)

9 Mary Shelley Toured Europe
1st child, daughter, born prematurely in Feb. 1815, died in March 2nd child, William, born January 24, 1816 May 1816 traveled to Lake Geneva to visit Lord Byron, Frankenstein begun

10 Mary Shelley Returned to England 1816
Fanny Imlay commits suicide in October Claire (Mary’s stepsister) gives birth to Byron’s daughter Harriet Shelley (pregnant) commits suicide in December Percy & Mary married December 30, 1816 Gives birth to Clara in 1817

11 Mary Shelley 1818 Frankenstein published anonymously
Daughter Clara dies in Venice, Italy

12 Mary Shelley 1819 Son William dies in Rome, Italy
Mary gives birth to Percy Florence, only child to survive infancy

13 Mary Shelley 1822 Miscarries & nearly dies Percy drowns July 8

14 Mary Shelley Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus Original title
Prometheus: titan who stole fire from the gods, gave to humans Creator of humans

15 Mary Shelley Trivia (or is it?)
Frankenstein begins on the date of Mary’s conception and ends 13 days after her birth (2 days after mother’s death) Incest- hmmmm Miscarriages, child birth, distant father- all themes in Frankenstein

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