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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was the daughter of the radical feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and the political philosopher William Godwin and the wife of the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley Through these familial affiliations she was also acquainted with Lord Byron Samuel T Coleridge and other literary figures such as Charles and Mary Lamb Surrounded by such influential literary and political figures of the Romantic Age it is not surprising that as an adolescent at the age of 19 she wrote Frankenstein Though critically a failure British Critic1818 and Monthly Review 1818 the novel has never been out of print and has been translated into numerous languages What is surprising however is the enormous body of knowledge contained in the novel The novel contains references to the fields of literature poetry science education politics history and mythology How did such a young girl living a life considered morally objectionable to society and harassed by family and financial burdens acquire such a vast amount of knowledge in all fields of study that encompassed the important issues of her day Through examination of biographical information and Mary Shelleys journal entries we will be able to answer this question Following I also plan to highlight Mary Shelleys knowledge of literature with primary emphasis on the works studied by the monster in relation to his origins as well as Mary Shelleys Mary Shelley was born with notoriety simply by being named Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Her parents were well known and somewhat suspect individuals due to their radical political beliefs and writings such as Wollstonecrafts Vindication of the Rights of Women and Godwins Enquiry Concerning the Nature of Political Justice Mary Shelleys mother died from complications shortly after giving birth to Mary The infamy of her existence was heightened by her fathers subsequent publication of Memoirs of the Author of the Rights of Women In this work William Godwin described many aspects of Mary Wollstonecrafts existence in great detail such as her
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