Monday, April 15, 2019

A to Z: Letters to Dead Writers: Mary Wollestonecraft Shelley

This month I'm writing one post for each letter of the alphabet, all on the theme of "Letters to Dead Writers." You can see my theme reveal post here and learn more about the blogging challenge here.

Today's writer is Mary Wollestonecraft Shelley

Dear Ms. Shelley,

Your biography is a full and varied one full of adventure. You traveled so much, and held your own with some of the biggest name writers of your era. But the part that amazes me is that you did it all when you were still so young! You were just 21 when Frankenstein was published.

Given the impressive nature of your family, it shouldn't be a surprise that you were brilliant. You had better access to education than was usual for a woman of your era, and the variety of your reading fed your mind and allowed you to create one of the most memorable stories of all time. Frankenstein is so instilled in our cultural memory at this point, that we all know the story, even those who have never read it.

I have read it. Several times now. And each time I am horrified not by the creature or the experiment, but by the inhumanity of his treatment by his creator. This intelligent and sensitive side of your creature was lost in early interpretations of your book for stage and screen, but has made it into the mainstream in recent years.

You lived a full and daring life, loving and living as you wished, even if it meant you life was more difficult and you struggled for money and position. I wonder what you might have been if you had lived in another era, one less constrained by limited views of women's virtue and freedoms.

You are definitely one of my literary heroes, one I'd love to walk with, listening to your theories and ideas. You amaze me across centuries.



  1. I never read this book. Not sure that I am a fan enough to read it. But the author sounds really interesting and must have been a trail blazer in her time.

  2. I love these letters! Shelly is definitely someone I would have loved a chance to meet with and listen to.

  3. Mary Shelley was such an incredible person! Whenever I see someone going on about 'women not belonging in science fiction' (as writers) I'm always like "You realize a woman INVENTED sci-fi, right?" XD