Mercurial Essays

Free Essays & Assignment Examples

Mary Shelly

Thesis: Mary Shelley has become one of the most renowned Gothic authors because of her descriptions and settings and her use of many significant themes.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly has written many books in her life. She has received much criticism about one of her books inperticular, Frankenstien. Frankenstein was one of her most famous novels. Shelly had written Frankenstein in order to enter a contest but what few people realized was that Frankenstein was one of many nightmares that Shelly had during her rough childhood. Shelly has become one of the most renowned Gothic authors because of her use of graphic descriptions and settings and her use of many significant themes.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly was born in London on August 30, 1797. Shelley was the daughter of a philosopher named William Godwin. Shelly’s mother died while giving birth to her and her father was remarried in 1801(Drabble 121). Shelley disliked her father’s new wife so, as a result, he sent her to go live in Dundee with the Baxter’s, foster parents, where she stayed until 1814. Shelley took many visits back to London to visit her father (Bloom 3014).
On May 5, 1814, Mary met Percy Bysshe Shelley on one of her visits to London. Percy Shelley left his wife, Harriet, and went to France with Mary (Bloom 3014). Shelley returned to London to give birth to a daughter only to lose the child two weeks later. Percy Shelley proposed to Mary Godwin and they were married in 1816. Shelley became pregnant again and again lost the child at birth. Out of four children, only one survived, Percy (Drabble 121).
While the Shelley’s were traveling thought Italy, they had sent letters to their friends asking for financial support. During this time, many legal battles were being fought over publishing matters, the Shelley estate, and the four children from Percy’s previous marriage. Shelley’s next two children died Clara and William Shelley. In 1818 Clara died barely one year old and in 1819, William died at the age of three. Finally, in late 1819, a forth child was born. A son, Percy Florence, was the only one of the four children to grow to maturity (Bloom 3015).

On the morning of July 28, 1822, Percy Shelly was sailing with his close friend Edward Williams in his boat Ariel. The boat was tipped and Shelly drowned in the Gulf of Spezia during a heavy storm. After Percy’s death, Mary refused to turn her son over to Percy’s father Sir Timothy, so she turned to writing to support her family (Drabble 121). Some of Shelley’s earlier novels include: Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826), and TheFortune of Perkin Warbeck (1830) (Drabble 122).

Many people consider The Last Man to be Shelley’s most famous work. The central vision of this novel is the spiral of human history in the central vision. The Last Man is set in the distant future, at the time, of the twenty-first century. This novel begins with a peaceful and flourishing society but tragically ends with total death throughout the world by the plague. Only one man survives this decimation, Lionel Verney (Bloom 3018).

Lionel Verney has nothing to anticipate except the endless and desolate journey from city to city. All of the world’s treasures are his for enjoyment. All of the great libraries and coffers are open to him only. Only one thing is missing from this novel, companionship. Companionship is a key aspect of The Last Man. Lionel doesn’t want all the earthly treasures; he only wants a friend (Bloom 3018).

Shelley’s most famous novel, Frankenstein, has much of the same aspects and ideas. Both novels deal with the knowledge of good and evil and both novels deal with the aspect of friendship and being accepted. Shelley’s characters in Frankenstein are all tied together in some shape or form. Victor Frankenstein was one of the main characters in this novel. His actions in the later stages of this novel directly effect the outcome (Bloom 3018).

Victor Frankenstein was born in Geneva. Victor showed an early promise in the natural sciences. When he grew older, his father sent him to the University of Ingolstadt. Victor learned all that the university could teach him in the natural science