Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus when she was 19 years old while summering with lover Percy Shelley and Lord Byron in Geneva in 1816.  She was the daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.  She lost three of her four children as babies and later her husband to a storm at sea.  She remained a writer and political thinker during her life, succumbing to a brain tumor at 53. 

Interesting side note: an illustrated volume of the botany of Cuba from 1828 has recently been rediscovered. It was created by Mary Shelley's aunt: Anne Kingsbury Wollstonecraft.

For more information on Mary Shelley, see her Wikipedia page and read up on her feminist mother while you are there too.

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I chose Mary Shelley because of my affinity for the character of Frankenstein himself.  He was a man apart from mankind. Of us and yet not one of us.  This is a detail of an illustration I created for banned book week; the pattern in the background is the trails of stars in the sky.  Prints are still available. 


If you look closely at Mary Shelley's dress, you will see it is constructed completely of pages from the Frankenstein novel, complete with exaggerated black criss-cross stitches on her skirt.  She is just shy of three feet tall and includes paper flowers and satin and velvet ribbon trim.

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