The definitive and richly woven biography of Mary Shelley, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein.
The creator of the world’s most famous outsider became one herself....
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 emerged Frankenstein, a monster who has haunted imaginations for 200 years.
Miranda Seymour illustrates the rich and unexplored life of Mary Shelley. Everything from her childhood to her tempestuous relationship with Percy Shelley; Seymour brings to life the brilliant mind that created Frankenstein through unexplored and intriguing sources.
The Mary Shelley we meet here is a woman we can engage with and understand. Her world, so rich in its settings and its cast of characters, seems drawn from a novel. She, at its centre, is flawed, brave, generous, and impetuous, a woman whose dark and brilliant imagination gave us a myth which seems ever more potent in our own era.
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This is not a book for a listener with only a casual interest in the subject. The number of people quoted, mentioned, and described is very confusing and it was difficult to keep straight their significance to the core of the subject. These details tend to obscure the personal story of Mary as a person rather than contribute the insight they obviously are meant to add. A background in early 19th century English literature would be helpful in understanding the book; unfortunately I have never studied that subject.
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- colin kerr
Great historian. Less than impressive subject.
As good a history of Mary Shelley as is possible. Frankly, her life was boring and her husband a terrible human being. However,I am very glad I listened to it, to get the facts straight on these two important people. I liked the narrator.