Women of Letters
The Intricate Riddle of Life: Mary Shelley
It is June 16, 1848, and you have traveled to London and are seated in the parlor of 24 Chester Square, where you await the lady of the house- fifty-year-old Mary Godwin Shelley.
Mary Shelley was the daughter of social revolutionaries William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, wife of romantic poet Percy Shelly, and mother of Frankenstein and his monster. But beneath the sweeping romantic tale of love unbound by societal convention and a life of travel, is the truth of the life of Mary Shelley; abandoned, disowned, and betrayed, wounded by the deaths of husband and children, she was besieged by creditors and so-called friends.
We call on Mary Shelley in the spring of 1848. Mary is financially secure at last, her most recent book has been well received, and her only living son is on the verge of marriage.