Shelley's Mary: A Life of Mary Godwin Shelley Summary
Margaret Carver Leighton

Everything you need to understand or teach Shelley's Mary by Margaret Carver Leighton.

  • Shelley's Mary: A Life of Mary Godwin Shelley Summary & Study Guide

Shelley's Mary: A Life of Mary Godwin Shelley Summary

Mature readers should read Shelley's Mary because it brings to life the sensitive young woman who wrote Frankenstein. The biography exposes readers to the exhaustive allusiveness of Frankenstein and familiarizes them with the relationships and tragedies that touched Mary Shelley's life. This knowledge awakens readers to serious cultural and ethical problems still unsolved.

By titling this biography Shelley's Mary, the author calls attention to one of the most important relationships of Mary Shelley's life: her love affair and marriage with Percy Bysshe Shelley, the celebrated free-thinking romantic poet.

Implicitly the title signifies both the depth of Mary's devotion to the poet and the subordinate literary position her work has traditionally held when compared with her husband's. Through the details that Leighton provides, the reader is able to grasp the cost of that devotion and subordination to Mary's emotional and professional life. The complex ethical problems caused by Mary's...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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