Cover image for Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley
Garrett, Martin.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
128 pages : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 25 cm.
General Note:
First published in 2002 by the British Library.
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR5398 .G369 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Mary Shelley traces the unusual life of the author of one of the most famous and terrifying novels of all time, Frankenstein. Martin Garrett looks at Mary Shelley's unconventional early life as the daughter of the free-thinking feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who died soon after Shelley's birth,and the radical philosopher William Godwin, her elopement with Percy Bysshe Shelley and his encouragement of her writing, and her life after Percy's death. With prominent literary figures such as William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Hazlitt, and Lord Byron appearing throughout, MaryShelley features photographs, paintings, journal entries, and manuscripts that help re-create the life of an extraordinary woman

Author Notes

Dr. Martin Garrett is a lifelong aficionado of 19th-century English literature.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

The incredible life of Mary Shelley, daughter of writers Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, is recounted here in an inviting, engaging format. Readers already know the facts of Shelley's life-the passion for literature, social justice, and women's rights that she inherited from her parents, her turbulent years with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, the deaths of three of her four children in infancy, and her penning of the classic Frankenstein-and little new material is revealed here. The chapters, however, are lavishly illustrated with paintings, letters, and diary entries, providing a rich window into Shelley's life for readers seeking a broad overview or students new to the study of the author. The result is an absorbing if not exhaustive portrait from a writer who has contributed other biographies to the publisher's "British Library Writers' Lives" series. Not a high priority for scholars, this will prove attractive and accessible to most lovers or students of literature. Recommended for public and school libraries.-Ron Ratliff, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-Mary Godwin Shelley, her husband Percy, and the various people who touched their lives receive an unbiased review in this book. By including details from the writer's diaries and those of her contemporaries in chronological order, Garrett weaves the story of Shelley's life with analyses of her work-most famously, Frankenstein. The author presents ample but dry information about his subject's formative years, her young romance with Percy, their struggles and the deaths of three of their children, their bohemian travels, and Percy's death. The authorial voice rarely intrudes on the events, except perhaps to clarify a popular belief of the time or challenge the veracity of the primary source. Garrett also provides a mature reading of her works and the excellent full-color and black-and-white illustrations are informative as well as appealing. However, the reproductions of original letters and drafts are virtually unreadable. This, along with the British vocabulary and style, makes the book most appropriate for the narrow audience of AP or dual-credit students.-Karen Hoth, Marathon Middle/High School, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.