Setting and background
The life of Mary Shelley
She was only 19 when she completed her novel Frankenstein, a book that has become very famous.
Parents and early years
Shewas born in a cultured environment and loved reading.
Her father was quite a distant father but a good teacher.
1812-22 Romance and tragedy
Aged 16 she met the young poet Percy Shelley, whoseenergetic imagination and intense excitement for nature , the supernatural and science made him fascinating person. Although he was recently married it was not long before Mary and him fell in love. Anddespite their fathers’ anger they went to Switzerland where they met Lord Byron, at whose villa Mary started Frankenstein.
In 1816 Percy’s wife drowned herself, which enabled Mary to marry Percy butthe latter himself drowned in 1822.
1824-51 Writing and motherhood
Mary devoted her time writing for magazines and she also published the second version of Frankenstein in 1831.
She died at the ageof 53 in 1851
When she was writing Frankenstein Mary was reading a book by J.Jacques Rousseau who argued that man’s nature is harmless but men are made evil by society.
Menbecome “monsters” by the way they are treated. This is at the heart of the book: the monster is born good but becomes wicked because people abuse and reject him.
Myths and Legends
Dr Faustus wants toknow the secrets of universe and so he sells his soul to Satan in exchange for this knowledge but he does not know what to do with his power.Tormented by the deal he perishes in hell.
Romanticism focuses on the expression of the imagination, intense feelings and the power of nature.
Gothic is full of uncanny events, stormy and dark settings and themes of revenge andpursuit.
Secrets and science
Mary Shelley lived at a time of rapid progress in the sciences. One of the preoccupations was the potential of electricity.
An experience had showed that running current...