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The year is 1797 and Mary Wollstonecraft gives birth to a baby girl on August 30 A baby girl soon to be known as Mary Shelley Mary Shelley was a prominent literary figure during the Romantic Era of English Literature She was the only child of Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin From infancy Mary was treated as a unique individual William Godwin believed that babies were born with potential waiting to be developed Poetry for Students 337 Therefore surrounded Mary with famous philosophers writers and poets from an early age At the age of sixteen Mary ran away to live with the twenty-one year old Percy Shelley 337 There was only one problem though Percy was married Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in the summer of 1816 staying at Lake Geneva in Switzerland Mary was only nineteen at the4 time She wrote the novel while being overwhelmed by a series of difficulties in her life The worst of these were the suicides of her half-sister Fanny Imlay and Percy Shelleys wife Harriet Student Handbook 190 After these deaths Mary and Percy married Fierce public hostility toward the couple drove them to Italy Eventually they were happy in Italy but their two children William and Clara Shelley died there Mary never really recovered from their deaths However Percy empowered Mary to live as she most desired In 1822 Percy drowned in a boating accident leaving Mary penniless For her remaining years she worked as a professional writer to support her father and son She died in 1851 of a brain tumor Mary Shelley combined the ethical concerns of her parents with the Romantic sensibilities of Percy Shelleys poetic inclinations Her fathers concern for the underprivileged influenced her description of the poverty-stricken De Lacey family Marys choice of a Gothic novel made her unique in her family and secured her authorial place in the Romantic period Romantics believed that the creative imagination reveals nobler truths unique feelings and
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