Mary Shelley

(2311 words)
  • Graham Allen (University College Cork)

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born on 30th August 1797 to William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, two of literary London’s most famous radical writers, during the revolutionary decade of the 1790s and five months after her parents’ marriage in St. Pancras Church. A few hours after Mary’s delivery Godwin was informed by the midwife that the after-birth had not been expelled. Godwin’s terror at the prospect of losing his wife led him to enlist the aid of various doctors (some of them personal friends) who decided to remove the placenta surgically piece by piece. The effect of these radical, scientific steps was that Wollstonecraft contracted puerperal fever and died on 10th September. William …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Allen, Graham. "Mary Shelley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 January 2004
[, accessed 07 July 2015.]

Articles on Shelley's works

  1. Falkner
  2. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus
  3. Lodore
  4. Matilda
  5. Perkin Warbeck
  6. The Last Man
  7. The Mourner
  8. Valperga: or, the Life and Adventures of Castrucchio, Prince of Lucca

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism
  2. Gothic, Grotesque& Supernatural Fiction