“It is not singular that, as the daughter of two persons of distinguished literary celebrity, I should very early in life have thought of writing."
Mary Shelley was born on this day, August 30, in 1797.
Here is a chronology of her extraordinary life, on the University of Maryland’s Romantic Circles site.
The portrait of young Mary, by Reginald Easton, is part of the Abinger Collection of the prestigious Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. In 2003, a three million pound grant from the UK’s National Heritage memorial fund helped the Bodleian acquire the collection that includes, as its crown jewel, the actual manuscript of Frankenstein in Mary’s own hand, with annotation by Percy Shelley.
You can see some of the documents from the collection here, including the first page Mary wrote, in the summer of 1816, that reads: “It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld my man completed”.