Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley(1797-1851), Novelist; wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Sitter associated with 3 portraits
The novelist Mary Shelley was deeply influenced by the writings of her parents Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin. When only sixteen, she eloped to the Continent with Percy Bysshe Shelley and married him two years later. In 1816, when they were neighbours of Byron, on the shores of Lake Geneva, Mary began Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus (1818) the tale of an idealistic student who discovers the secret of imparting life to inanimate matter. Contrasting scientific discovery with moral responsibility, Frankenstein, for the first time, seriously questioned the human impact of scientific research.
More on Shelley: The Romantic Poets and their Circle
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
by Samuel John Stump
oil on canvas, 1831