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Mary Shelley Biography

Uploaded by surfchick on Feb 20, 2005

Mary Shelley Biographical Essay

Mary Shelley was born on August 30th, 1797. She was born to William Godwin, a philosopher, and Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the first radical feminists. Both of her parents were extremely active in the revolutionary movements of the late eighteenth century. Her father was a minister but later became an atheist and turned his attention to ethics and politics. When he met Wollstonecraft, he was taken by her intelligence and commitment to women's rights. Mary Wollstonecraft worked as as seamstress, lady's companion and director of a girls' school and as a governess. As an underpaid working woman, it was then when she realized and recognized that women were underrepresented in Parliament. She argued that " women are human creatures, who, in common with men, are placed on this earth to unfold their faculties" (Smith 2)

Getting back to Mary Shelley, she grew up in a very loving environment even in spite of the fact that her mother died September 10, 1797, ten days after her birth. For four years he raised Mary and her half sister, Fanny with the help of friends and extended family. Although he felt he was doing the best he could, he still felt as though he wasn't giving them proper education. As a result of his feeling, he married Mary Jane

Clairmont on December 12, 1801 creating a blended family consisting of William, Mary Jane, Mary, Fanny, Mary Jane's children Charles and Jane(Claire), and later William, Mary's half brother. The older children were required to perform household duties such as cooking, cleaning, and washing clothes. She also learned cooking, needlepoint, and how to throw a successful dinner party from her new stepmother.

Her father gradually learned the art of proper schooling. He taught the children mythology, ancient and English history. It was around this time that her father and stepmother moved the family to a commercial part of London where they owned and operated M.J Godwin and Co., a publishing and book selling firm. After the move, William Godwin began to teach Mary Latin and the sciences as well as training her in such research skills as making chronologies. However, Mary has been quoted as saying "he had faults as a teacher...too much temper...to little sympathy...too grave and severe. (Smith 6) This caused a rift in not only her relationship with her father but with Mary Jane as well. She was known for wandering...

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Uploaded by:   surfchick

Date:   02/20/2005

Category:   Authors

Length:   5 pages (1,121 words)

Views:   9406

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