Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley (1797 - 1851)

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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley formerly Godwin
Born in Somers Town, London, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Sister of [half] and [half]
Wife of — married (to ) [location unknown]
Died in Chester Square, London, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 13 Nov 2014
This page has been accessed 923 times.

Categories: Notables | St Mary, Avington.

Mary (Godwin) Shelley is notable.
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Mary Shelley (née Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Godwin's mother died when she was eleven days old.

In 1814, Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley. They married in late 1816 after the suicide of Percy Shelley's first wife, Harriet.

In 1816, the couple spent a summer with Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont (Mary's step-sister) near Geneva, Switzerland, where Mary conceived the idea for her novel Frankenstein. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm near Viareggio. The last years of her life she was tormented by illness, probably caused by the brain tumor that was to kill her at the age of 53.

The portrait above is of Mary Shelley's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin.[1]

On Christmas Day 1849 Mary gave a barrel organ to the church of St Mary, Avington. The writing on the panels records that the organ was given by Mrs Shelley on Christmas Day 1849. She was the widow of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. [2]

Barrel Organ St Mary, Avington


  1. Gordon, Charlotte, Romantic outlaws: the extraordinary lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, New York : Random House, 2015
  2. The Church of St Mary's Avington and Early History of the Parish. Gill Graham Maw.
  1. Source:


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Images: 7
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Mary Shelley Image 1

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Mary is 18 degrees from Geoffrey Chaucer, 23 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 24 degrees from Michelle Ladner and 11 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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