The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein

Dorothy Hoobler, Author, Thomas Hoobler, Author . Little, Brown $24.95 (377p) ISBN 978-0-316-00078-9

In this absorbing biography, the Hooblers, historians and children's authors (The American Family Albums ), chronicle the turbulent life of Mary Shelley (1797–1851), author of the classic gothic novel, Frankenstein. They open with a moving sketch of the life of her famous mother, feminist rebel writer Mary Wollstonecraft, who died 11 days after giving birth to Mary. Sixteen-year-old Mary eloped to France, in 1814, with the freethinking Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Effectively surrounded by egotistical and rapacious "monsters" such as Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, a new mother at 19, penned the tale of Frankenstein in response to a challenge set by Byron to guests at his Swiss villa. The Hooblers amply relate how the themes of Mary Shelley's masterpiece correspond to her life. Portraying Mary Shelley's stoic endurance of trauma and loss— two of her children died early—the Hooblers describe her final misery when Percy Shelley drowned while she was still in her early 20s. Summarizing Mary's other novels and recounting how she championed Shelley's posthumous literary reputation while raising her remaining son to conventional manhood, the Hooblers' well-crafted biography will appeal to all who wish to learn more about the conception of Frankenstein and its enigmatic author. 8 pages of b&w photos. (May 22)

Reviewed on: 03/27/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-07572-5
Paperback - 374 pages - 978-0-316-06640-2
Open Ebook - 237 pages - 978-0-316-16249-4
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!