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Researching Mary Shelley
Most people know her as the author of Frankenstein. That is just a small part of her story. Mary Shelley was a woman unlike others of her time. She thumbed her nose at convention. She couldn’t be categorized by the ton. By anyone. She was truly unique in ways we’d still find amazing if she did them right now in this century.
How do I know? Because I’ve been studying Mary Shelley for years now. I’ve always known I’d write about her. Not just about her creation- Frankenstein’s monster, but about Mary Shelley the person. The woman who I feel is a real heroine in so many ways. Was she perfect? Absolutely not. She ran away with a married man. She didn’t care what people thought of her love and eventual husband Percy Shelley who was a vegetarian and atheist. Her family turned their back on her for a time. Friends betrayed her. Percy, who I have tried so hard to like but just can’t, saw other women while they were together. The only good thing I can say about Percy is that he didn’t underestimate her uniqueness or talent.
Mary kept Percy’s heart after he died. Mary helped a trans couple escape to France to avoid persecution. Mary wrote books beyond Frankenstein. It is believed by some that she was bi-sexual. It is believed by some that there was some inappropriateness to her relationship with her father. How much of that is true? How much of it speculation?
I have read so many books about Mary. Some written by scholars. Some are accumulated correspondence from her contemporaries. A lot is educated conjecture. The one thing I can say for sure after reading all these books is that Mary Shelley was ahead of her time and completely amazing!
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