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Mary Wollenstonecraft Godwin Shelley was the only daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollenstonecraft Her life though scattered with tragedies and disgrace was one of great passion and poetry Mary Shelley is best known for her novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus which has transcended the Gothic and horror genres Shelleys other literary works were mildly successful their time but are little known today To understand her writing you must first know her background Her mother Mary Wollenstonecraft was an early feminist In 1792 she published A Vindication of the Rights of Man This was book that showed Mary Wollenstonecraft was way ahead of her time She had an illegitimate child with American industrialist Gilbert Imlay After her failed relationship with Imlay Wollenstonecraft met political philosopher and novelist William Godwin in 1796 To ensure the legitimacy of their daughter Mary and William decided to get married on March 29 1797 at St Pancras church in London Mary Godwin was born on August 30 1779 Her mother died ten days later of infections and complications from her delivery Like other girls Mary was educated at home She absorbed the intellectual atmosphere created by her fathers visitors and friends Many of Englands leading writers and thinkers including the poet and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge scientist Humphry Davy and her fathers friend William Nicholson had an influence on Mary that is noticeable in many of her works At the age of ten Mary published her first work a poem entitled Mounseer Nongtonpaw or The Discoveries of John Bull in a Trip to Paris In 1812-1814 Mary was sent by her father to visit the Baxter family in Dundee Scotland in an attempt to separate her and her battling stepmother Upon her return Mary met and fell in love with Percy Bysshe Shelley a previously married admirer of her father In July 1814 Mary Percy and her sister Claire visited several countries in
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