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About the Author: Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Shelley was taken seriously as a writer in her own lifetime, though reviewers often missed the political edge to her novels. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until 1989, when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley's letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published.

The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley's son and daughter-in-law to "Victorianise" her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest. Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley's works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression.

The eclipse of Mary Shelley's reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that. In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley's recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy's death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: "I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea". Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal.


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Goodreads rating: 3.74

Mass Market Paperback, Published in Oct 2009 by Livre de Poche

ISBN10: 2253088757 | ISBN13: 9782253088752

Page count: 352

En expédition vers le pôle Nord, Robert Walton adresse à sa soeur des lettres où il évoque l'étrange spectacle dont il vient d'être le témoin depuis son bateau : la découverte, sur un iceberg, d'un homme en perdition dans son traîneau. Invité à monter à bord, Victor Frankenstein raconte qu'il n'est venu s'aventurer ici que pour rattraper quelqu'un – qui n'est autre que la créature monstrueuse qu'il créa naguère, et qui s'est montrée redoutablement criminelle.
Paru en 1818, Frankenstein est né deux ans plus tôt sur les bords du Léman, un jour où Lord Byron proposait à quelques amis, dont le poète Shelley et son épouse Mary, que chacun écrivît une histoire de spectre. Ce roman fantastique annonce la science-fiction et, depuis près de deux siècles, n'a cessé de susciter un sublime effroi - de terrifier, donc, mais surtout de séduire.

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