by Richard Rothwell, 1839-40
a child I scribbled; and my favourite pastime, during the
hours given me for recreation, was to 'write stories.' Still
I had a dearer pleasure than this, which was the formation
of castles in the air -- the indulging in waking dreams
-- the following up trains of thought, which had for their
subject the formation of a succession of imaginary incidents.
My dreams were at once more fantastic and
agreeable than my writings."
Shelley in an Introduction to Frankenstein, Third
Mary Shelley was an exceptional woman of the 19th century who
went against the constraints of proper womanhood and lived a
spontaneous life full of love and intellect among heartbreak
and pitfalls. Through her education, intellectual influences,
family and friends, and feelings about Rousseau, Mary Shelley
developed into the unusual and thought provoking woman she was
when she wrote Frankenstein in 1817. As Mary Shelley
grew older, however, she abandoned her carefree attitude towards
life and attempted to conform to the proper standards for a
lady in the 1800s. From her youthful days of energy and adventure,
to her lonely life after her husband died, Mary Shelley experienced
many life altering events.