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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

2 of 3 portraits of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, by Richard Rothwell, exhibited 1840 - NPG 1235 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

by Richard Rothwell
oil on canvas, exhibited 1840
29 in. x 24 in. (737 mm x 610 mm)
Bequeathed by the sitter's daughter-in-law, Jane, Lady Shelley, 1899
Primary Collection
NPG 1235

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  • Richard Rothwell (1800-1868), Painter. Artist associated with 11 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

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Mary Shelley, the daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1814 and became his second wife in 1816. Her Frankenstein of 1818, written at Lord Byron's suggestion, is one of the finest examples of the Gothic novel in English. The papier-mâché frame to this portrait is by C.F. Bielefeld and was made by applying seven different types of ornament to a supporting wooden framework. It probably dates to the mid-nineteenth century, at which period the frames on the portraits of her parents were changed to match.

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