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Mary Shelley

UK Publisher: John Murray Ltd

There is no more dramatic scene in literary history than the stormy night by Lake Geneva when Byron, Claire Clairmont, Polidori and the Shelleys met to talk of horror and the unexplained. From that night emerged in FRANKENSTEIN a monster who has haunted imaginations for nearly two hundred years. His creator, the eighteen-year-old Mary Shelley, is a woman who belongs as much to our own times as to the Romantic Age in which her life began. Her world, so rich in its settings and its cast of characters, seems at times drawn from a novel, and she, at its centre, is flawed, brave, generous, impetuous, a woman whose dark and brilliant imagination gave us a myth which seems ever more potent in our own era.

“The most dazzling biography of a female writer to have come my way for a decade … She has found a biographer whose honesty to her inner life makes her story inspiring, consoling, authentic.” – Financial Times

“…this is a book to be savoured for its vivid and sympathetic recreation of the tragic life and brilliant times of the gifted Mary Shelley.” – Literary Review

“This is a fine biography that gives us the dense background to Mary Shelley’s work while losing nothing of the searing glamour and pain of her sad, extraordinary life.” – Sunday Times

“In Seymour’s expert hands, the sights and sounds of early 19th Century London and the post-revolutionary Europe come vividly to life. The emotional tangles between Shelley, Byron, Mary and Claire are charted with wit, grace and sympathy. All this is combined with a scholar’s deep understanding of the intellectual currents – and the electrical ones – which brought Frankenstein’s creature to life.” – Mail on Sunday

“… her fresh view of the facts takes us closer to Mary Shelley than any previous portrait.” – Independent on Sunday