Daughter of the radical writers William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Godwin (later Mary Shelley) was nineteen when she wrote her subversive and highly original novel
Frankenstein (Grades 9–1)
Various vast landscapes provide the atmospheric settings for
from the inhospitable Arctic Circle to sublime Alpine scenery to the bleak and barren Orkneys.
Gothic novels were popular around the turn of the nineteenth century. Conventions included ancient mysteries, curses, ruined settings, persecuted characters and the supernatural.
Shelley’s novel refers to famous myths, such as the story of Prometheus, that explore the effects and consequences of ambition, temptation and forbidden knowledge.
Shelley lived in an era of rapid progress in the sciences, when there was considerable interest in human anatomy and the effects of electricity on the body.