“In Search of Mary Shelley – The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein” by Fiona Sampson is available in Hardback and eBook. Published on 4th Jan by Serpent’s Tail / Profile Books.
We know the facts of Mary Shelley’s life in some detail—the death of her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, within days of her birth; the upbringing in the house of her father, William Godwin, in a house full of radical thinkers, poets, philosophers, and writers; her elopement, at the age of seventeen, with Percy Shelley; the years of peripatetic travel across Europe that followed. But there has been no literary biography written this century, and previous books have ignored the real person—what she actually thought and felt and why she did what she did—despite the fact that Mary and her group of second-generation Romantics were extremely interested in the psychological aspect of life.
In this probing narrative, Fiona Sampson pursues Mary Shelley through her turbulent life, much as Victor Frankenstein tracked his monster across the arctic wastes. Sampson has written a book that finally answers the question of how it was that a nineteen-year-old came to write a novel so dark, mysterious, anguished, and psychologically astute that it continues to resonate two centuries later. No previous biographer has ever truly considered this question, let alone answered it.
Fiona Sampson takes a look at the woman who was the force behind one of literature’s classic books, Frankenstein is a title recognised around the world. It has been dissected and discussed numerous times, but what about its creator.
Mary Shelley wrote this book at the age of 18, two years after her marriage to Percy Shelley, she was at the time considered to be an intellectual thinker. This is a time when women are seen as an object or a piece of the furniture, not to have opinions or views that are meaningful.
Fiona has, I feel, done her research well using a number of documents, journals and letters to build up a picture of this young woman’s life. She has created an in-depth narrative that has an easy flow to it and makes for good reading, it is insightful and full of details.
This is a wonderful read that would appeal to readers of biographies and memoirs of literary greats. It has the air of a well researched book, is well written and presented. My first time reading any work by this author, I may have to look at reading more.
I received my copy for my honest and unbiased opinion via NetGalley and the publishers, my thanks to them for this opportunity.
Many thanks for reading my post. If you liked it, please give it a share xx