Mary Shelley by Miranda Seymour

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The Independent Culture

Brilliant and enthralling, this portrait illuminates Mary's life in many unexpected ways. Though a child of the enlightenment, it was the gore of Smithfield, where she grew up, that provided the raw material for Frankenstein. If Mary emerges as an impressive figure, her husband is revealed as unstable, possibly syphilitic and "quite corpulent at the time of his death". Post-Percy, Mary's life was only a little less tempestuous, though depression and remorse lurked behind that intelligent façade.