The Queen of Horror: Looking Into the Life of Mary Shelley

If you didn’t know already, Mary Shelley wrote the classic, Frankenstein. I originally sat down and read Frankenstein only because of Mary Shelley herself. I became obsessed with her life after watching the 2017 movie that Hulu made about her. That was only the start of my deep dive into her life. So, I’ll tell you some interesting facts I have gathered over the years and maybe it’ll persuade you to read Frankenstein as it did for me.

  1. She originally published Frankenstein anonymously - after it was published anonymously, there was talk her husband Percy Shelley had written Frankenstein because he wrote the introduction. She finally got credit after three years of it being published.

  2. Shelley was involved with a married man - she ran off to England with Percy Shelley when he was still married. They were only able to get married when his wife died and they were married pretty soon after that. This was obviously a huge scandal and her father stopped speaking to her for a while.

  3. Her life was full of death - even though Shelly’s mother died before she was born, it directly impacted her life. She was always found reading on her mother's grave. Shelley also had four children but only one survived to adulthood. And then finally Percy died. So, her life was plagued with death and I believe a lot of it influenced Frankenstein. Her first child died in 1815 and Frankenstein was written in 1816.

  4. There are two versions of Frankenstein - The first edition, which was published anonymously in 1818, is the closest edition to what Mary Shelley originally wrote. There is another version that was published in 1831 that had her name on it but was revised because it was too radical to be written by a woman.

I think Mary Shelly’s life is fascinating and full of drama and scandal. The only reason I finally decided to read Frankenstein. Her grief and heartbreak truly formed the monster that is in the book. I promise you’ll see hints of it everywhere if you decide to pick it up!

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