Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein


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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

  1. 1. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein<br />
  2. 2. Consider this:<br />Dedication to William Godwin<br />is a critique Godwin’s Political Justice<br />1814 to 1816 Mary read almost all of her mother’s books<br />Wollstonecraft’s, Vindication of the Rights of a Woman<br />
  3. 3. Mary Wollstonecraft 1759-1797 <br />Aaron Burr commissioned this 1804 copy of John Opie's portrait, painted just a few months before Wollstonecraft’s death in 1797. Burr, best known as the Vice President of the United States who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, was much impressed with Wollstonecraft’s ideas for egalitarian child-rearing, and brought up his daughter Theodosia on those principles. Opie’s original portrait, which hung over William Godwin’s fireplace, is now in the National Portrait Gallery (London). In Godwin's view, however, Burr’s copy was the better likeness.<br />
  4. 4. Writer, Lover, Writer, Dumped, Suicide, Writer Dumped, Suicide, Birth, Dies <br />Marriage = legalized slavery<br />Education<br />Moves to Paris, France (1792) 1 month before King Louis XVI = guillotined <br />Falls in love (Gilbert Imlay) = illegitimate love child = Fanny Imlay <br />Suicide attempt n 1<br />Moves to London, England<br />Suicide attempt 2<br />
  5. 5. Enter Godwin<br />1796 , William Godwin<br />Pregnant<br />Mary dies giving birth to Mary – 10 days after the birth.<br />What do you do when your wife dies? <br />Defamation<br />
  6. 6. William Godwin 1756-1836<br />
  7. 7. The drama<br />Educated to serve as a minister<br />Rejects ministry<br />Writes a famous book, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice<br />Hates the monarchy, but opposes revolution<br />Marriage = not so much<br />Private property is evil. So he owns no property and supports his family on his writings and lives modestly.<br />Is often visited by Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Percy Shelley<br />After his wife’s death his popularity declines because he damages her reputation. – Loser <br /> Four years later he marries Mary Jane Clairmont<br />
  8. 8. Mary Shelley 1797-1851<br />
  9. 9. Her saga<br />Born on August 30, 1797<br />Mom dies in childbirth. (Mary Wollstonecraft)<br />Mary and her half-sister are raised by William Godwin with the help of Louisa Jones, a devoted governess to the family.<br />The girls are educated by a French tutor. <br />First four years of life are normal (sure)<br />Mary is very proud of her famous mother.<br />Godwin obsesses over Mary’s education<br />
  10. 10. 1801 – enter evil step-mom<br />Godwin dismisses Louisa Jones <br />and marries Mary Jane Clairmont (odd, this is Mary #3)<br />Mary Jane Clairmont has two kids of her own. Now they are a really blended family.<br />Hell on earth ( imagine, your step-mom shows favoritism to her own kids; your dad is a neurotic intellectual = you will be normal?)<br />
  11. 11. So, what happens?<br />So she turns to writing.<br />Age of 10 Mary publishes her first piece<br />The family moves out of the country and into the city: London. (Things couldn’t get any worse)<br />Mary is intrigued by her father’s friends, but hates living with her step-mom. <br />Exit Mary- To ease tensions, Godwin sends Mary to live in Scotland.<br />
  12. 12. Mary stays with a wealthy family friend. This intensifies her feelings of abandonment.<br />Mary returns to London to meet anarchist poet, Percy Shelley and his young bride, Harriet Westbrook. <br />Mary returns to Scotland and discovers places of beauty, later evoked in Frankenstein.<br />
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  15. 15. The love triangle begins.<br />Percy Shelly separates from his wife and their infant daughter and they fall madly in love. <br />Mary Wollstonecraft’s tomb – creepy<br />They travel to the Continent with Mary’s step-sister (Jane (Claire) Clairmont)<br />Mary is 17 and Percy is 22.<br />Return from the continent in serious financial trouble.<br />Meanwhile, Harriet (Percy’s first wife) is pregnant with her second child, and Mary’s father is furious. Mary also becomes pregnant and gives birth, but the child dies. <br />Father rejects her.<br />Mary has concerns about Percy’s interest in step-sister, Jane. <br />Shelley’s grandfather dies and leaves Shelley an allowance. This is good news.<br />Mary gets pregnant again. They move back to the continent. <br />Jane is pregnant too, with Lord Byron’s love child. Byron is exiled to the continent because he is scandalized by all of his love affairs.<br />
  16. 16. The making of Frankenstein<br />Summer of 1816 Lord Byron rents Villa Diodati on the shore of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.<br />
  17. 17. Villa Diodati experience<br />One stormy night, the group including the Shelleys, Jane, Byron, John Polidori (Byron’s physician and close friend) decide to read German ghost stories to entertain themselves.<br />
  18. 18. Literary contest<br />They return to England<br />Fanny Inlay is found dead from a drug overdose.<br />Harriet Shelley, Percy’s estranged wife who is pregnant with a third child, drowns herself in the Serpentine River in London.<br />
  19. 19. To win back fatherly favor, Percy and Mary decide to marry.<br />Mary gives birth to her third child. <br />Mary publishes Frankenstein in 1818.<br />After the publication and Shelley’s custody loss to Harriet, Jane and lovechild of Bryon, Allegra, move with Percy and Mary to Italy. Yes, the communal living is a bit bizarre. <br />Mary’s children Clara and William die in Rome the following summer.<br />Mary is severely depressed and writes her darkest short story, “Mathilda.” Narrating a father’s incestuous love for his daughter, the story shows Mary’s disfigured soul. <br />Mary gives birth to one more child, Percy and he survives to adulthood, but her marriage is doomed. <br />
  20. 20. Mary suffers a near fatal miscarriage but is saved by Percy who packs her in ice to stop the bleeding.<br />Three weeks later, Percy and his friend Edward drown when their boat goes down in a storm in the Bay of La Spezia. Percy is obsessed with boating, but oddly, never learns how to swim.<br />
  21. 21. Mary is 25. She returns to London.<br />The last 28 years of her life she collects and edits Shelley’s work, educates her one child, Percy. <br />She travels with her son to Germany and Italy.<br />Mary dies at home on February 1, 1851.<br />