Mary Shelley Essay

849 words - 3 pages

Mary Shelley When Mary Wollstonecraft died in 1797, she left her newborn baby, Mary, without a mother. This baby would grow up in literary circles that greatly influenced her life. As a result of a literary lifestyle and influence, Mary Shelley endured great disappointments throughout her life. Mary was born in Somers Town, Great Britain in 1797 to William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Wollstonecraft died, unfortunately, during childbirth. (Hamberg). Mary's father hired a nanny, Louisa Jones, to care for Mary and her half-sister Fanny Imlay. (Mellor 355). Mary was taken in and loved by Louisa and Fanny for three years until Louisa fell in love and left her. The loss was very heartbreaking to Mary considering Louisa was the only mother she had ever known. Godwin desperately began searching for a motherly figure for his daughter. He found Mary Jane Clairmont, an unmarried mother of two. They were married before Mary's fourth birthday. Clairmont despised Mary because of the attention she was paid. She favored her children only. Mary and Clairmont argued constantly which got so severe that Mary suffered from psychoscomatic skin boils at the age of thirteen. To ease the tension, Godwin sent her to Dundee, Scotland to stay with William Thomas Baxter in June 1812. Mary's skin boils disappeared when she and her stepmother were separated. Mary quickly adapted to her new home and became very close with the Baxter's daughters, although she missed her father terribly. When Mary was sixteen, she moved back to London and fell in love with a man named Percy Shelley. Shelley was one of Godwin's disciples. (Hamberg). On July 28, 1814, Mary and Percy eloped to Paris taking Mrs. Godwin's daughter, Jane with them. (Ehrlich 1778). The Godwins' were very angry about the elopement and would not speak to her. They were even more disappointed when Jane decided to live with Mary and Percy. Mary, Percy, and Jane traveled across Europe and kept a journal. They published these letters in 1817. They were called History of a Six Weeks' Tour Through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland: With Letters Descriptive of a Sail Round the Lake of Geneva, and of the Glaciers of Chamouni. (Mellor 355). During their trip, Mary became pregnant and when they returned to England, Mary...

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