jane clairmont

anonymous asked:

Today I decided to do some light research on Mary Shelley's family, as I've seen you talk about her chaotic life at a couple of points, and OH MY GOSH HER LIFE WAS CRAZY. Illegitimate children all over the place, mean step-parents, elopement, constant financial woes, suicide, a growing family feud... THIS IS LIKE LIFE WITH THE KARDASHIANS TIMES TEN!!!

Oh my dude, you have no idea!!! Do you know how much I would give to see an Office-style reality show about Mary Shelley’s life??? Episodes could include moments like:

  • Mary getting stuff published before she hits puberty (like a boss) 
  • The family hosting AARON BURR for dinner (because that did happen)
  • Mary writing angrily in journal about her father remarrying. Godwin and Mary Jane Clairmont fighting in the background. “Anyone after my Mother: Feminist Icon Mary Wollestoncraft is settling.”
  • Illegitimate daughter of Mary Wollestoncraft Fanny Imlay staring into camera like she’s in The Office. 
  • Mary and Percy making out over Mary’s dead mom’s grave. 
  • Mary not being 100% sure if Percy is more in love with her or her dad (literally, Percy wrote Godwin fan mail).
  • Percy running around, threatening suicide if Mary doesn’t elope with him. 
  • Elopement commences, only for Percy to bring along Mary’s nemesis stepsister Claire Clairmont because…why not. 
  • Claire Clairmont never stops trying to have Byron’s babies. Literally offers to sleep with him in exchange for him reading over her “manuscript”. (An offer which he accepts, of corpse)
  • Byron and Mary boating expeditions. 
  • John Polidori and Byron fighting over Vampire fan fiction.  
  • Percy showing up naked in Mary’s sitting room while she has guests over.
  • Percy low-key setting Mary up with his college bud. “Yeah, he sleeps with all my ex girlfriends.” (Mary glares at camera)

Mary Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an 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. When Mary was four, Godwin married his neighbour, Mary Jane Clairmont. Godwin provided his daughter with a rich, if informal, education, encouraging her to adhere to his liberal political theories. In 1814, Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Together with Mary’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont, they left for France and travelled through Europe; upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy’s child. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816 after the suicide of Percy Shelley’s first wife, Harriet. In 1816, the couple famously spent a summer with Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont near Geneva, Switzerland, where Mary conceived the idea for her novel Frankenstein. The Shelleys left Britain in 1818 for Italy, where their second and third children died before Mary Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm near Viareggio. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, probably caused by the brain tumour that was to kill her at the age of 53. Until the 1970s, Mary Shelley was known mainly for her efforts to publish Percy Shelley’s works and for her novel Frankenstein, which remains widely read and has inspired many theatrical and film adaptations. Recent scholarship has yielded a more comprehensive view of Mary Shelley’s achievements. Scholars have shown increasing interest in her literary output, particularly in her novels, which include the historical novels Valperga (1823) and Perkin Warbeck (1830), the apocalyptic novel The Last Man (1826), and her final two novels, Lodore (1835) and Falkner (1837). Studies of her lesser-known works such as the travel book Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844) and the biographical articles for Dionysius Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopaedia (1829–46) support the growing view that Mary Shelley remained a political radical throughout her life. Mary Shelley’s works often argue that cooperation and sympathy, particularly as practised by women in the family, were the ways to reform civil society. This view was a direct challenge to the individualistic Romantic ethos promoted by Percy Shelley and the Enlightenment political theories articulated by her father, William Godwin. Read More || Edit