born 1797

Mary Shelley grew up among Britain's brightest {+ most infamous} modern thinkers. Her mother ~ who died soon after her birth ~ was feminist icon Mary Wollstonecraft. Her father was prominent radical political philosopher William Godwin. At 17, she ran away to Europe with the then-married Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

While Mary's youth was overshadowed by the scandal + celebrity of her closest relations, her fame as an author soon grew to match that of her parents and husband. A pioneer of modern horror, Mary is best known for her 1818 novel Frankenstein. While the original spoke to burgeoning feminist and socialist movements, her provocative book remains a major pop culture reference for its early critique of tech. Today, we still heed Mary's warning ~ beware, lest you create a monster!

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Mary Shelley (10)

"What had I to love? Oh many things: there was the moonshine, and the bright stars; the breezes and the refreshing rains; there was the whole earth and the sky that covers it: all lovely forms that visited my imagination, all memories of heroism and virtue."

Mathilda | circa 1819

"Nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye."

Frankenstein | 1831

"There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand."

Frankenstein | 1831

"Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind...like a lichen on the rock."

Frankenstein | 1831

"I am malicious because I am miserable."

Frankenstein | 1831

"Live, and be happy, and make others so."

Frankenstein | 1831

"Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful."

Frankenstein | 1831

"I busied myself to think of a story . . . One which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror—one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart."

Author's Introduction to Frankenstein | october 1831

"My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed—my dearest pleasure when free."

Author's Introduction to Frankenstein | october 1831

"Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos."

Author's Introduction to Frankenstein | october 1831
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Mary Shelley

curated with care by Alicia Williamson {october 2015}