Humanities › History & Culture Mary Shelley British Woman Writer Share Flipboard Email Print Mary Shelley. Hulton Archive / Getty Images History & Culture Women's History Important Figures History Of Feminism Key Events Women's Suffrage Women & War Laws & Womens Rights Feminism & Pop Culture Feminist Texts American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century View More By Jone Johnson Lewis Women's History Writer B.A., Mundelein College M.Div., Meadville/Lombard Theological School Jone Johnson Lewis is a women's history writer who has been involved with the women's movement since the late 1960s. She is a former faculty member of the Humanist Institute. our editorial process Jone Johnson Lewis Updated May 27, 2017 Mary Shelley is known for writing the novel Frankenstein; married to the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley; daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin. She was born on August 30, 1797 and lived until February 1, 1851. Her full name was Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley. Family Daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft (who died of complications from the birth) and William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was raised by her father and a stepmother. Her education was informal, as as typical of that time, especially for daughters. Marriage In 1814, after a brief acquaintance, Mary eloped with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father refused to speak with her for several years afterwards. They married in 1816, soon after Percy Shelley's wife committed suicide. After they married, Mary and Percy tried to get custody of his children but they failed to do so. They had three children together who died in infancy, then Percy Florence was born in 1819. Writing Career She's known today as a member of the Romantic circle, as the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, and as the author of the novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, published in 1818. Frankenstein enjoyed immediate popularity upon its publication, and has inspired many imitations and versions, including many film versions in the 20th century. She wrote it when her husband's friend and associate, George, Lord Byron, suggested that each of the three (Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley and Byron) each write a ghost story. She wrote several more novels and some short stories, with historical, Gothic or science fiction themes. She also edited an edition of Percy Shelley's poems, 1830. She was left to struggle financially when Shelley died, though she was able, with support from Shelley's family, to travel with her son after 1840. Her biography of her husband was unfinished at her death. Background Mother: Mary WollstonecraftFather: William GodwinSiblings: half-sister Fanny Imlay Marriage, Children husband: Percy Bysshe Shelley (married 1816; poet)children:Percy Florence Books About Mary Shelley: Buss, Helen M. et al. Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley: Writing Lives. 2001.Mellor, Anne K. Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters. 1989.Seymour, Miranda. Mary Shelley. 2001.Florescu, Radu R. In Search of Frankenstein: Exploring the Myths Behind Mary Shelley's Monster. 1997.Schoene-Harwood, Berthold and Richard Beynon. Mary Shelley: Frankenstein - Columbia Critical Guides.Shelley, Mary. Collected Tales and Stories. Charles E. Robinson, editor. 1990.Shelley, Mary. Collected Tales with Original Engravings.Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein: the 1818 Text: Contexts, Nineteenth-Century Responses, Modern Criticism - A Norton Critical Edition. 1996.Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus. Angela Carter, introduction. 1992.Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. The Last Man. 1973.