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Portraits of Creativity

Percy+Bysshe+Shelley+%28Douglas+Walton%29%2C+Mary+Shelley+%28Elsa+Lanchester%29%2C+and+Lord+Byron+%28Gavin+Gordon%29+in+the+movie+The+Bride+of+Frankenstein+%281935%29
Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Walton), Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester), and Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon) in the movie The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Walton), Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester), and Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon) in the movie The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Walton), Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester), and Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon) in the movie The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Sequel Staff

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I am kind of a huge history buff, I am not buff at all, I wish I was. My favorite time periods are the 1960s in the US and the American Revolution. The power of the past is truly magical. But I won’t bore you with the dastardly details of American Revolution battle. Join me as I ramble about various artists and their magical lives.

maryshelley

“We are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves — such a friend ought to be — do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures.” -Mary Shelley, (Frankenstein)

You probably know only one thing about Mary Shelley. Let me take a wild guess of what you know. She wrote Frankenstein a novel, about a scientist and his crazy creation. That’s about the extent of what people know. But there is so much more to Mary Shelley and her exciting life.

Let’s start with her childhood. She was the daughter of renowned feminist author Mary Wollstonecraft who wrote The Vindication of the Rights of Women and novelist William Godwin. If you didn’t know Wollstonecraft was sort of a big deal, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was inspired by Wollenstonecraft’s work (*cough cough SUFFRAGETTE Elizabeth Cady Stanton*)

mary-shelley-4

As a child, her father actively encouraged Shelley to become educated. He stressed independent thinking rather than domestic service in the education of his daughter. Which honestly so refreshing since most Victorian fathers wanted their daughters to be dutiful housewives. .

In 1814, Shelley eloped with Percy Shelley, a student of her fathers and her life took a turn (for the good.) She and Percy hiked about Switzerland and France, rode donkeys, whatever else they wanted, which sounds like the idea life to me.

The summer of 1815 began a pivotal moment in Shelley’s life. She and Percy spent their summer in the beautiful Swiss Alps with the one the only playboy Lord Byron, Jane Clairmont, and John Polidori. Instead of going outside and appreciating the beautiful scenery and having picnics, or something along those lines, the group was forced inside due to bad weather.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Walton), Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester), and Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon) in the movie The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Walton), Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester), and Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon) in the movie The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Though, they didn’t let the weather rain on their parade (literally.) They entertained themselves by reading ghost stories. This inspired Lord Byron who encouraged the group to write their own horror stories. Percy and Byron abandoned their stories almost immediately while Shelley persisted.

Can you guess what story she was formulating? That’s right Frankenstein! Well, in 1818 Frankenstein was published and became the first book in the science fiction genre. And mind you, Shelley wrote this when she was 18 years old. I mean when I turn 18 years old you will probably find me crying about all my college rejections not writing a brilliant masterpiece.

So next time you see someone bashing girls for being ‘fake fans’ go and tell them how Mary Shelley literally invented the field of science fiction. That’s right. A teenage girl. That should shut them up.

Randhika Aturaliya 17′ || Online Content Manager

1 Comment

One Response to “Portraits of Creativity”

  1. Hops on November 18th, 2016 10:07 pm

    This is wonderful. Can’t wait to have you as my go-to Mary expert when we read Frankenstein!

    [Reply]

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