Mary Shelley, 1797–1851

Biographical note

Novelist, born in London, the only child of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, his wife. In 1814 she went to the Continent with P.B. Shelley, and married him two years later. When abroad she saw much of Byron, and it was at his villa on the Lake of Geneva that she conceived the idea of her famous novel of Frankenstein [1818], a ghastly but powerful work. None of her other novels, including The Last Man and Lodore, had the same success. She contributed biographies of foreign artists and authors to Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopædia, and ed. her husband’s poems.

[From A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature by John W. Cousin, 1910]

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