Friday, 30 August 2013

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley born this day 1n 1797

Photograph from the book jacket ~ Mary Shelley by Miranda Seymour

Today is the birthday of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, born Mary Godwin in London, England (1797). She is the author of Frankenstein (1818), which is considered the first science fiction novel ever written.

After her marriage to the poet Percy Shelley, the couple went to stay in a lakeside cottage in Switzerland with the poet Lord Byron in the summer of 1816. One rainy night, after reading a German book of ghost stories, Byron suggested that they all write their own horror stories.

Everyone else wrote a story within the next day, but Mary took almost a week. Finally, she wrote an early version of a story about a scientist who brings a dead body to life. She turned the story into a novel, and Frankenstein was published in 1818. She was 21 years old.

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