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Mary Shelley

(1797 - 1851)

Mary Shelley was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her gothic novel "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus" (1818). Born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin in London to philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, she was deeply influenced by their intellectual milieu.

Shelley's life was marked by tragedy, from her mother's death shortly after her birth to the loss of her husband, the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, in a boating accident. These experiences infused her writing with a poignant exploration of themes such as creation, responsibility, and isolation. "Frankenstein" was conceived during a stay near Geneva, Switzerland, when she was challenged to write a ghost story. The novel was groundbreaking, not only for its genre-bending narrative but also for its philosophical and ethical considerations of scientific overreach and human nature.

In addition to "Frankenstein," Mary Shelley wrote several other novels, including "The Last Man" and "Valperga," as well as biographical essays, travel writings, and edited her husband's works. While "Frankenstein" remains her most celebrated work, her contributions to literature go beyond a single novel, and she is recognised as a central figure in the Romantic movement.

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