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Profile of the Day: Mary Shelley

On this day in 1797, English novelist Mary Shelley was born. Today, Shelley is best remembered as the author of the Gothic novel Frankenstein, which is often considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction.

Profile of the Day: Mary Shelley

Image: Mary Shelley / Wikimedia Commons

Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on August 30, 1797 in London, England to William Godwin, a radical political philosopher, and Mary Wollstonecraft, a philosopher and feminist. Her mother died just eleven days after her birth of childbed fever. Although she received little formal education, Shelley had a passion for literature and began writing her own stories at a young age.

At the age of 16, she met poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and the young couple eloped after fleeing to France in 1814. Shelley first began writing Frankenstein at the age of 18 and eventually published the Gothic novel anonymously. Her name would not appear on the novel until the publication of the second edition five years later.

After the death of her husband, Shelley supported herself and her son through her writings. She died on February 1, 1851 at the age of 53. Today, Shelley is regarded as one of the major figures of the Romantic movement.

Explore Mary Shelley’s family tree on Geni and share your connection to the novelist.

View Mary Shelley’s Geni Profile


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