Morality and Frankenstein

Essay by sleapzUniversity, Bachelor'sA, March 2005

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Morality and Frankenstein

Mary Shelley was born on August 30, 1797, in London to two radicals of the day. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, who died in childbirth, was one of the first feminists and writers of the time while her father, William Godwin, played his part as a radical thinker as a writer and political journalist.

As a child, Mary Shelley was virtually left completely to educate herself amongst her father's intellectual and radical circle of friends and acquaintances. Probably because of the intellectual influence she was somewhat of a child prodigy concerning the literary stage, and published her first poem at the age of ten. At the age of 16 she ran away to France and Switzerland with the poet Percy Shelley. In 1816, the two elopers married after Shelley's first wife had committed suicide by drowning. Their first child, a daughter, died in Venice, Italy, a few years later.

After the death of their first child, they returned to England where Mary gave birth to their son William.

In 1818, the Shelleys left England for Italy, where they remained until Shelley's tragic drowning in 1822 in the Bay of Spezia near Livorno. Finally, after all the tragedy that had befallen her, Mary suffered a nervous breakdown in 1819 with the death of her son William (previous to this, she had lost a daughter as well).

As if the death of two children and a husband wasn't enough, she also had a miscarriage in 1822 that proved to be very dangerous to her. Of Shelley's children, only one, Percy Florence, survived his infancy. In 1823 she, determined not to remarry returned with her son to England, where she devoted herself completely to his welfare and education and continued her career as a professional writer, and later died in London...