Born: 30 August 1797
Died: 1 February 1851
Birthplace: London, England
Best known as: The author of Frankenstein
Name at birth: Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin
English author Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus and was second wife of the great poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary Godwin was the daughter of two intellectual heavyweights, feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and social reformer William Godwin. She eloped with Percy Shelley in 1814 and they spent their life together in Europe. Their married life was brief and tragic -- Mary Shelley had miscarriages and two of her children died, then Percy drowned in 1822 when he was 29 years old. While in Geneva with her husband and the poet Lord Byron, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, now a classic of Gothic Romanticism. The story of a reckless doctor who creates a living monster from the body parts of the dead, Frankenstein was published in 1818 and has since become the inspiration for many other stories and films. After her husband's death, Mary Shelley returned to England in 1823, where she continued her career as an author and editor of her husband's poems and prose. Her other novels include Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826) and Lodore (1835).
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