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Shelley, Mary

  • By: Luca Prono
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Mary Shelley Wollstonecraft was a British Romantic novelist, poet, travel writer, and biographer whose most popular novel Frankenstein (1818) is credited with having pioneered the science fiction genre. In addition, the novel, as well as Shelley's oeuvre as a whole, is often read as a nightmare of procreation, constellated as it is by fears of childbirth and of death of family members, especially children.

Shelley was born in Somers Town, London, on August 30, 1797. She was the daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, two of the most famous radical writers of the era and outspoken supporters of Enlightenment rationality. Mary's birth was the first instance of the many tragedies linked to motherhood that the author would encounter in her life or re-create in ...

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