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Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters Paperback – December 13, 1989

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Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters + Mary Shelley + The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley's Masterpiece
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Editorial Reviews

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. . . the fullest account of Mary Shelley we have or are likely to have . ..
–Nina Auerbach

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (December 13, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415901472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415901475
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,330,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 1996
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent text for the study of Mary Shelley and Frankenstein. It will fascinate those interested in the life of Mary Shelley, students studying Frankenstein, and those interested in learning about an 19th Century woman writer, who wrote a novel about a monster that has since become a universal archetype of isolation and societal rejection. In this text, it is demonstrated how events in Mary Shelley's life, her fears of motherhood, and her study of current philosophic and scientific theories all contributed to the development of the novel. Mary Shelley is proven to be an intelligent and complex woman writer of the Romantic Literary tradition
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sally K. Severino on December 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent biography of Mary Shelley, author of the first science fiction novel, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus.

At the outset, biographer Anne K. Mellor provides a helpful and thorough chronology of Mary Shelley's life from her birth in 1797 to her death in 1851.

Mellor then proceeds to write a scholarly, fascinating, well organized, and clearly written study of Mary Shelley's life.

I read it because of my interest in Frankenstein as a study in the effects of unrepaired shame on human development. Mellor devotes several chapters to Frankenstein including: Making a Monster, My Hideous Progeny, and Revising Frankenstein. Mellor also includes an Appendix: Percy Shelley's Revision of the Manuscript of Frankenstein.

As Mellor notes in her Preface, "Frankenstein is rapidly becoming an essential text for our exploration of female consciousness and literary technique."

I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christina on September 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Be advised, this book is more of a feminist analysis on the life and works of Mary Shelley more than a complete biographical account of her life. The entire middle section of the book is a collection of essays by Mellor which analyze Shelley's life through the scope of feminist theory.

Albeit, it is a very solid piece of work. This is a dated book, published 1988. But so far, it stands even today and I have yet to find another book that analyzes Mary Shelley to such a degree.

This is possibly the only book I've read that gives an in-depth description of Mary Shelley's life, going into detail about her unstable family life, her troublesome marriage, and also brings to light her own mental instability.

The first few chapters read much like a biographical book, focusing on events during Mary Shelley's childhood to adulthood. However, this is only an intro to the essay section. These essays provide a feminist analysis of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" along with her other works. These are persuasive essays that Mellor wrote, and are heavy with her opinion which she supports with examples.

Be sure to recognize these chapters as Mellor's analysis because she does make assumptions of how Shelley thought and behaved. It is not fact whether Shelley actually did think and believe certain ideas because that part of her life was not as documented through history.

But because of this reason, I do feel like I'm lacking the complete story of Shelley and the Shelley family. Despite this, it deserves credit for giving Mary Shelley a deep analysis where many other books I've read just give a brief overview.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book captures every aspect of Mary Shelley's life that evolved into her fictive imagination. The readers are introduced to much less popular works such as The Last Man, Lodore and Mathilda which actually give a unique perspective to Frankenstein. For myself there were some places I felt I was given too many examples, I had already figured out Mellor's point several paragraphs before, but the book makes every possible attempt to explain the novels so that everyone understands.
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By Starlight on January 24, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A must for any person wanting to get more insight into Mary Shelley and Frankenstein
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Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters
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