Mary Shelley by Miranda Seymour

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Mary Shelley's own life was as dramatic as her fiction. Even had she not (at the age of 19) authored Frankenstein, one of the greatest horror fables in literature, she would be crucial to the study of Romanticism, as the daughter of two of the great radical thinkers of the day, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft (who died following Mary's birth); and as the second Mrs Percy Bysshe Shelley, her companion for that stormy stay at Byron's Geneva villa in 1816 - the 'haunted summer' that begat Frankenstein. Drawing on unexplored sources, Miranda Seymour's hugely acclaimed biography penetrates the myth to offer the fullest, richest portrait of this extraordinary woman.

'Mary Shelley is the most dazzling biography of a female writer to have come my way for an entire decade.' Financial Times

'Brilliant and enthralling, this portrait illuminates Mary's life in many unexpected ways.' Independent on Sunday

'Miranda Seymour has vivid narrative gifts and a perceptive understanding of the main personalities.' New York Times Book Review

'A thoughtfully considered and exceptionally lifelike portrait of a complex and often misunderstood character.' Los Angeles Times

'A harrowing life, wonderfully retold.' Washington Post Book World

'A splendid biography.' New Yorker


About Miranda Seymour

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Miranda Seymour is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling works of fiction and nonfiction, including biographies of Mary Shelley, Robert Graves, Henry James, and, most recently, the pioneer French racing driver HellE Nice. She lives in England.
Published June 16, 2011 by Faber Finds. 704 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mary Shelley

Kirkus Reviews

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Defending Mary’s later narrowness, Seymour points out the unhappiness of a life burdened throughout by financial distress and the distortions of celebrity.

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The New York Times

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Miranda Seymour has written an affectionate biography of the woman who was at the center of the Romantic movement but is remembered for a horror story.

Oct 07 2001 | Read Full Review of Mary Shelley

The Guardian

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Mary Shelly Miranda Seymour John Murray £25, pp655 Mary Shelly was born Mary Godwin to illustrious parents, the first and only child of philosophers, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, who died in childbirth.

Oct 08 2000 | Read Full Review of Mary Shelley

Publishers Weekly

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Twenty-five years ago, Seymour wrote a historical novel based on Lord Byron's life that reflected the prevailing view of Mary Shelley, the willful child-bride who, briefly touched by her husband's genius, produced one extraordinary work before sinking back into her native mediocrity and conventio...

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Book Reporter

With the publication of FRANKENSTEIN, Mary Shelley created not only an immortal literary character, but her own place in the literary world apart from her renowned parents and her infamous husband, Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Mary Shelley

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