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Mary Shelley. Introducing…. Birth. Born in London in 1797 Parents: Mary Wollstonecraft & William Godwin Mother died of a fever soon after the baby was born. One half-sister, Fanny (3 years older). The Parents. Both parents were considered “intellectual rebels” of their time.

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mary shelley
Mary Shelley


  • Born in London in 1797
  • Parents: Mary Wollstonecraft & William Godwin
  • Mother died of a fever soon after the baby was born.
  • One half-sister, Fanny (3 years older)
the parents
The Parents

Both parents were considered “intellectual rebels” of their time.

  • Mary Wollstonecraft
  • William Godwin
stepmother troubles
Stepmother Troubles
  • *Resented Mary’s close relationship with her father.
  • *Did not encourage Mary’s education
  • *Made Mary do household chores.
  • *Regularly invaded Mary’s privacy.
  • *Kept Mary from spending time with her dad.
trip to scotland
Trip to Scotland
  • *Mary’s dad sent her to stay with friends in Scotland.
  • *She experienced two things there: the love of happy family and the beautiful Scottish scenery.
  • *Both of these elements played important roles later when she wrote Frankenstein.
percy bysshe shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • * Disciple of her father’s philosophical ideas
  • *Married to Harriet Westbrook Shelley
  • *Highly educated
  • *Writer and Poet
  • *Wealthy
  • *Idealistic
  • *Became dissatisfied with his wife
  • *Mary and Percy declared their love for each other in June of 1814
  • *Godwin forbade Percy to come to the house.
  • *Percy attempted suicide.
  • *Mary ran away with him to France (her step-sister Jane came too!).
  • Mary wrote in her journal on 19 December 1822: "France--Poverty--a few days of solitude & some uneasiness--A tranquil residence in a beautiful spot--Switzerland--Bath--Marlow--Milan--The Baths of Lucca--Este--Venice--Rome--Naples--Rome & misery--Leghorn--Florence Pisa--Solitude The Williams--The Baths--Pisa--These are the heads of chapters--each containing a tale, romantic beyond romance."
birth death motherhood
Birth, Death, Motherhood
  • *Mary gave birth to 4 children (only one survived to adulthood) and had a miscarriage with her 5th pregnancy.
  • *Her half sister Fanny committed suicide.
  • *Percy’s wife Harriet committed suicide.
birth death motherhood1
Birth, Death, Motherhood
  • On 19 March 1815 she recorded in her journal: "Dream that my little baby came to life again--that it had only been cold & that we rubbed it before the fire & it lived."
the birth of frankenstein
The birth of Frankenstein
  • *Spring of 1816
  • *Lake Geneva, Switzerland: Lord Byron, her step sister, Byron’s physician, Percy, and Mary.
  • *Ghost Stories
  • *Ch. 5 of the novel –her original short story
  • *Finished full novel- 1817
  • *Published 1818
science of frankenstein
Science of Frankenstein
  • *Scientists discovering the potential of electricity.
  • *Luigi Galvani- experiments with animal tissue
mythology of frankenstein
Mythology of Frankenstein
  • Original title for Frankenstein:
  • The Modern Promethus
  • Promethus- Greek myth; brought fire to man; symbol of creative striving
  • Percy Shelley wrote poetic drama – Promethus Unbound
after frankenstein
After Frankenstein
  • *Wrote a novella: Mathilda
  • *Grew apart from Percy.
  • *1822- Percy dies in a boat accident.
  • *Wrote more novels and some non-fiction biographies.
  • *Published Percy’s poetry with long biographical notes.
  • *Supported her father financially.
  • *Died from a brain tumor in 1851.
romantic movement
Romantic Movement
  • 1798-1832
  • Post revolutionary period: economic suffering and social disorder
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Movement in art and literature was based in part on the feeling of optimism about human possibilities that was present in Western culture after the American and French Revolutions.
characteristics of romanticism
Characteristics of Romanticism
  • Innovation
  • Freedom of thought and expression
  • Spontaneity
  • Idealization of Nature (nature poets)
  • Visionary Imagination (sometimes nightmarish)
characteristics of romanticism1
Characteristics of Romanticism
  • “The Romantic discovers what he hopes are new values, new experience patterns, and his impulse is to rebel against any restriction upon that process of discovery, that quest for new and higher truth.”
famous romantic poets
Famous Romantic Poets
  • William Blake
  • John Keats
  • Lord Byron
  • Percy Shelley
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • William Wordsworth
  • Purpose: To evoke terror and show the dark side of human nature
elements of gothic literature1
Elements of Gothic Literature
  • Often set in a medieval society or has medieval elements (castle)
  • Mysterious disappearances
  • Horrifying events or the threat of them
  • Supernatural occurrences
  • Protagonist is solitary, egocentric, and passion-driven
  • Heroine with a tendency to faint and a need to be rescued–frequently
  • Nature is used to create mood/atmosphere
nature is used to create mood atmosphere
Nature is used to create mood/atmosphere
  • Dungeons, underground passages, crypts, and catacombs, spooky basements or attics.
  • Labyrinths, dark corridors, and winding stairs
  • Shadows, a beam of moonlight in the blackness, a flickering candle, or the only source of light failing
  • Extreme landscapes and extreme weather
other gothic writers
Other Gothic Writers
  • William Godwin
  • Ann Radcliffe
  • Horace Walpole
  • Matthew Gregory Lewis
  • Clara Reeve