Mary Shelley

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Carcanet, 2013 M03 22 - 280 pages
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At the age of twenty, Mary Shelley secured her place in history by writing Frankenstein (1818), now acknowledged as one of the great literary classics. The daughter of radical philosopher William Godwin and pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley lived an unconventional life dogged by tragedy. At sixteen she scandalised England by eloping with her married lover, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, but was widowed after only a few years of marriage. She went on to survive her husband by nearly thirty years and to support herself and her son as a writer. Here the great twentieth-century novelist Muriel Spark paints a portrait of a gothic icon. First published in 1951, this remarkable biography, reissued with previously unpublished material, recounts Mary Shelley's dramatic life, from her youth and turbulent marriage to her career as writer and editor. The young Spark, who would write The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie ten years later, discovered her vocation as a novelist in this study.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LizzieD - LibraryThing

Since nobody else has reviewed this excellent biography, I'll write a quick one. Muriel Spark wrote the first version of this in 1951, which was published in the U.K. but not in the U.S. She revised ... Read full review

Mary Shelley

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In revising Child of Light (1951), her first biography of Mary Shelley, Spark has drawn on newly available material in Betty T. Bennett's ongoing edition of her Letters (( LJ 6/15/80, vol. 1) and in ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Muriel Spark was an award-winning Scottish novelist and poet, whose works include The Abbess of Crewe, A Far Cry from Kensington, The Finishing School, and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. She was also the editor of Poetry Review, a Dame of the British Empire, and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. Penelope Jardine is an artist and sculptor who lived with Muriel Spark for around 30 years.

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