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.
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