About the Author
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (1797–1851), daughter of political radical William Godwin and feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft, grew up among the leading voices of the Romantic movement. She met and wed poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1816. When the Shelleys spent that summer on Lake Geneva with friends—among them, Lord Byron—Byron challenged the writers to a ghost-story contest. Mary Shelley’s sketch inspired her novel Frankenstein (1818), influenced by her loss of her infant daughter in 1815. Four years after Frankenstein’s publication, her husband drowned. The tragedy haunted Shelley for the rest of her life, which she dedicated to annotating her husband’s writing, publishing her own novels, and revising Frankenstein for republication.