author shelley


March 25th 1811: Shelley expelled from Oxford

On this day in 1811, Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled from the University of Oxford for publishing a pamphlet entitled ‘The Necessity of Atheism’. Shelley is best known as a famous English poet, who was part of a group of fellow prominent writers including his wife Mary Shelley and Lord Byron. As well as being as being an author, Shelley was a radical political activist who advocated non-violent protest. Having begun study at Oxford in 1810, it is often said that he only attended one lecture during his time there. He published several works whilst at university, but it was his atheistic pamphlet which led to his appearance before the College fellows and his eventual expulsion as he refused to deny authorship. ‘The Necessity of Atheism’ argued that people do not choose their beliefs and thus atheists shouldn’t be persecuted. However it is unclear whether Shelley was personally an atheist; he may have instead been an agnostic or a pantheist. Either way, this document is an interesting insight into Shelley’s views and shows how atheism was stigmatised in the early nineteenth century.

“Truth has always been found to promote the best interests of mankind. Every reflecting mind must allow that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity”

Which Classics Author Should You Fight?
  • Charles Dickens: The Victorian equivalent of a white male tumblr meninist. Fight his past newspaper blogger ass, though the guy does write about his own "tragic experiences", so be warned that a caricature of you will probably be appearing in his next novel.
  • The Brontes: idk they're from Yorkshire I wouldn't risk it
  • Dante Aligheri: Yess he spends all his time in his room writing self-insert Bible fanfic and never goes outside, 10/10 would fight this nerd. You will win. Easily.
  • Mary Shelley: Why would you want to fight Mary Shelley???? She's nice and bad things happened to her and she invented scifi! Go reevaluate your life choices.
  • Victor Hugo: Don't. He will kill you otp viciously and then spend 38 pages describing someone's hat.
  • Jonathon Swift: It's 50/50 you'll win, but you might fall asleep from his long-winded prose before you land a punch.
  • William Shakespeare: Little is known about him, other than the fact that he had free access to bears and swords and a penchant for revenge and mass murder as plot devices. If you're gonna fight him, watch your back.
  • C.S. Lewis: Whiny and allergic to adjectives and allegorical and super racist. Fight Him. So long as your childhood can take it.
  • J.R.R Tolkien: Shakespeare's biggest fan, so a total dork. Also old and shell shocked. Your call.
  • William Thackeray: Him and his friends will get drunk and gang up on you. Not advisable.
  • Alexandre Dumas: He was once described as "the most generous, large-hearted being in the world" and had extensive military training. Just... don't.
  • Harper Lee: Still alive, so she's got a foot up on the rest of them.
  • George Orwell: Total fuckin' politics nerd. Will keep a diary of the fight.
  • Jane Austen: You'd feel too mean, it'd be like punching some harmless lana del-ray book club chic. Fight her if you want but be aware of the emotional consequences.
  • Mark Twain: Constantly angry looking. Just look at that mustache. You want to fight him already, don't you?
  • Oscar Wilde: The sassiest little shit ever. Be prepared for cane wielding sassmeister. You'll probably lose, but it'll be worth it.
Young Writers: It’s Never Too Early

Writing doesn’t have an age range. There is no too young or too old to start writing or get published. People of all ages have made an impact on the writing world. Here I have compiled a short list of writers whose first work was written or published during their teenage years.

Christopher Paolini began writing Eragon at 15 and self-published in 2001 when he was just 18. In 2003, the book was republished by the Alfred A. Knopf publishing house. The Inheritance Cycle has sold over 33 million copies.

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes received news that her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, would be published by Random House on her 14th birthday. She went on to publish four additional novels before turning 20 in 2004. To date Atwater-Rhodes has published 16 young adult fantasy novels.

Catherine Webb finished her first novel, Mirror Dreams, when she was 14 and it was published two years later in 2002. She published three more young adult fantasy novels before her 20th birthday and has written 16 books in total.

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein in 1816 when she was just 18 years old. The novel was published two years later. There is little more that needs to be said about its continued widespread influence today.

Nancy Yi Fan began her novel Swordbird when she was just 11 years old. It was published two years later in 2008 by HarperCollins. Since then she has published a prequel (Sword Quest) and a sequel (Sword Mountain).

S.E. Hinton wrote The Outsiders while still in high school. It was published in 1967 during her freshman year of university when she was 18. The book has sold more than 14 million copies and Hinton is still considered one of the great female writers in American history.

Beth Reeks wrote and posted her stories online until Random House took notice of The Kissing Booth, a young adult romance novel, which had millions of hits on Wattpad. She was 17 when it was published in 2013.

Old(er) Writers: It’s Never Too Late


Historical Couples → Mary and Percy Shelley 

↳ Mary was 16 when she snuck off in the middle of the night to meet the 21 year old poet in a nearby cemetery, where the two reportedly made love amongst the gravestones! While that may sound romantic, Shelley was actually bit of a cad for he was already married and expecting his first baby. However, unperturbed and deeply in love with Mary, he wrote his wife telling her that he would always remain friends with her but she should consider Mary’s feelings and let him go. Prone to dramatics, Shelley proclaimed not once but twice that he was going to kill himself if he could not have Mary and once tried to convince her to die with him in pseudo Romeo and Juliet fashion that would have had Shakespeare rolling his eyes. Cooler heads prevailed and the two decided instead to travel to Dover with Mary’s step sister, Claire in tow. However, the love affair soured a bit after the journey. Mary who had been pregnant on the ship, miscarried shortly after their arrival and though she would become pregnant by Shelley four more times, only one of their children would survive, a son named after his father. To make matters worse was that Shelley and Claire became a bit too friendly to the point that people began to speculate that the two were having an affair behind Mary’s back. Lord Bryon sniffing around would solve that but that’s another story for another day. As Mary’s fathers fortune dwindled so  did Shelley’s affection for Mary and the two often spent time apart. When Shelley died in a sailing accident at 29, his family refused to provide for Mary or their son. However, Mary clearly still loved Percy for when she died they found the crumbling remains of his heart wrapped in silk by her bedside.

Diary of a Mad Scientist 28

Copy, copy
How can I avoid being sloppy
Vitals keep dropping
Heart keeps stopping

Beat, beat
Those must repeat
Continual rhythm is no small feat
The skin lacks heat

Test, test
No pulse below the breast
There’s no time for me to rest
This body must bend to my behest

Thought, thought
With many dangers this path is fraught
But this time there’s no chance of being caught
For no longer we seek fresh corpses with little rot

Grow, grow
We make new vessels for blood to flow
Create brain matter for things we know
Like fruit or vegetable that we may sow

Soon, soon
Our time will come like the full moon
Time, now, is but a boon
The specifics I now must fine tune

Crack, crack
The lightning in sky so black
Providing the spark of life they lack
For this profession I have a knack

New, new
When Henry spoke it, I knew
What he said gave me the clue
The last thread I needed to
Bring about our lives anew
The lives that we are due
The way that’s true
A way we no longer have to look grue-
BBC - Seriously...10 Women Who Changed Sci-Fi
Profiling some of the finest female science fiction authors.

“As the Radio 4 documentary Herland examines how science fiction tackles ideas of gender in future worlds, we present a selection of great female authors who have radically altered the genre… “

See the list here, including:

- Mary Shelley

- Ursula K. Le Guin

- Octavia E Butler

- Margaret Atwood

- And more!

“How I, then a young girl, came to think of, and to dilate upon, so very hideous an idea?”
I dunno, Mary. Call me “Abby Normal” but your “hideous” ideas are rather my favorite.

Frankenstein was one of those books that I balked at reading. I had seen all the cheesy reincarnations of the monster and those drooling Igors and “Its ALLIIIVE”-ings to put me off it for years. BUT, when I had to read it for highschool–oh man–I read it in one sitting. It is fantastic, deliciously creepy, and (if you’ve been following anything from me on tumblr) I nerd over it frequently. Mary had kind of a rough life too, so there is such a depth to her writing and…ah, see, the nerd-thing is showing.

I highly suggest reading it around Halloween–or at least on a dreary day. Atmosphere, of course:)

@thedrawingduke on twitter + instagram + tumblr


Happy Birthday Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley! (née Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851)

English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks:

1. “Mrs. Percy Shelley” from The Romance of Mary W. Shelley, John Howard Payne and Washington Irving. The Bibliophile Society. This Edition is Limited to 470 Copies. Printed for Members Only. Boston, 1907.

2. Title page of The Romance of Mary W. Shelley, John Howard Payne and Washington Irving. The Bibliophile Society. This Edition is Limited to 470 Copies. Printed for Members Only. Boston, 1907.

3. Cover detail from Proserpine & Midas. Two Unpublished Mythological Dramas by Mary Shelley.  Edited with an Introduction by A. Koszul.  London: Humphrey Milford, 1922.