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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

The Romantic Era (1798-1832)
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle
Grimm's Fairy Tales

Mary Shelley (1797 - 1851)


  • Born in Great Britain in 1797
  •  Mary meets a young poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, at only 16. Percy ends up as Mary’s Husband.
  • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley dies in 1851 at the age of fifty-three.


Mary Shelley spent the greater part of the summer of 1816, when she was nineteen, at the Chapuis in Geneva, Switzerland. That’s when her idea of Frankenstein came about. One night Mary, her stepsister, Claire Claremont, Lord Byron, and John Polidori, Byron's physician, gather around a fire to read ghost stories. Byron suggests that they all write a horror story. Mary Shelly decides to write a story "which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awake thrilling horror- one to make the reader dread to look around to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart." The next morning the poets went off sailing and that’s when Mary wrote chapter four of Frankenstein which begins, "It was on a dreary night of November...” Percy Shelley soon encourages Mary to turn the little ghost story into a novel, which she finishes May of 1817 and publishes in March 1818.

While some people try and associate the title of the novel with the monster, Mary Shelley wrote the novel to show that that the monster and the creator are doubles of each other. Frankenstein represents any man or woman who contains a monstrous or destructive force.


Frankenstein Written in 1831


One of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s most well known works.  It tells of a young Swiss student who discovers the secret of animation lifeless matter and, by assembling body parts, creates a monster that vows revenge on his creator after being rejected from society.


After leaving Frankenstein’s laboratory, the creation goes to the village where he is insulted and attacked by the frightened villagers. He eventually goes to the country and finds refuge in a hovel next to a small house inhabited by an old, blind man and his two children. By observing the family and by reading their books, the creation learns how to speak and read.


The Creation’s only request of Frankenstein is that he creates another being: a female to accompany him. If Frankenstein complies, he and his bride will stay away from other people and keep to themselves in the wild.