Mary Wollestonecraft Godwin Shelley was born on 30th August 1797 in London.
Her father, William was a philosopher and her mother was a leading feminist, Mary Godwin, both noted writers.
childhood, there were many notable visits to the Wollestonecraft household, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Mary was a keen reader and took advantage of her father's extensive library. She took up
writing at a very young age.
Between 1812 and 1814, Mary lived with relatives in Scotland, and it was on her return to London that she met Percy Shelley. They eloped to France in 1814 and lived
together, for Percy was still married to his first wife, Harriet Westbrook.
His marriage had only lasted four years when Percy met Mary. They lived together in hiding so that Percy could avoid his first wife's debts.
Mary's first child, a daughter, only lived for a short
period. Their second child, William was born in 1815.
The couple went on holiday to Europe with Lord Byron and it was he that suggested they should write ghost stories.
Mary formed the idea for Frankenstein, and all present agreed that her story was the best. Encouraged by her husband, she expanded the tale, and Frankenstein was published in 1818.
In the meantime, a
third child, Clara, was born, and the Shelley's left England for Italy to escape mounting debts and to improve Percy's health. During this time, both children died and Mary was very depressed and
disconsolate. In 1819 a son, Percy was born, and he would be the only Shelley child to survive to adulthood.
In 1822, Mary's husband was drowned in a boating accident.
She had been dogged by tragedy all her life, losing 3 children, her mother, and her husband, in quick succession, together with the suicides of Percy's first wife, and Mary's half-sister.
Mary spent the rest
of her life attending to her husband's works, and writing items of her own. Although she had further works published, Frankenstein eclipsed these.
In 1841, Percy junior, graduated from Trinity College
and together with Mary, went on a tour of Europe. During this time, she compiled notes called Rambles in Germany and Italy, which were published in 1844, about her travels.
Her son married in 1848 and Mary lived with them until she died in 1851.
This book has been the inspiration of many filmmakers since the start of this industry.
In 1994, Kenneth Brannagh's
portrayal of Victor Frankenstein is perhaps the one that follows the original text most accurately, and it stars Robert De Niro as the monster.
Another reasonable adaptation was Great Universal's 1931 film
Frankenstein, and also their follow-ups, The Bride of Frankenstein, and Son of Frankenstein are also worth watching.
Where Shelley failed to write sequels to her book, the film industry have not, and it is
testimony to her inspired original story that has stood the test of time.
These films have taken a step further, the connection that Shelley suggests between the monster's creation and the harnessing of power
from electrical storms, by using modern scientific knowledge in the building of machinery to divert lightning power to create the monster.