Review Detail

The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein's Creator Mary Shelley
(Updated: September 11, 2018)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
What worked: This is a fascinating insight into the life of the author of Frankenstein. The beginning paragraph, when Mary Shelley's son finds the heart of his dead father in his mother's portal desk, introduces readers to the strangeness that was a part of Shelley's life.

One word sums up Mary Shelley's life: drama. Though she lived in the early 1800s, her life wasn't dull. The daughter of a feminist and known author, Mary ran away from home at age 16 with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. He was the love of her life, but also the cause of heartache and much drama.

Readers find out more about Shelley's life. She was shunned by her family when she ran away. She also suffered miscarriages, deaths of children, smallpox, and being a widow at the age of 25. Her life is the stuff of tragedies, but she never gave up hope.

There's also references of how ruthless society at this time was to those who committed suicide and to unmarried women who had children. Mary had the brunt of society disapproval when she ran off with the poet Shelley, who was married and had one small child at the time.

The illustrations are equally fascinating. There's photos of Mary and Percy Shelley when young. Also photos of their children and friends like Lord Bryon.

Everyone knows the story of how the young friends met together and dared each other to write a horror story. This would be the backdrop to what inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein. There's a photo of the now crumbing ancient castle that might have been the inspiration of the Frankenstein's castle. We also see a picture of the handwriting of a page of the novel. There's also mention of Mary Shelley's other works.

Engaging story of the creator of Frankenstein and her strange but very true life that was filled with love, drama, and heartache.
Good Points
1. Fascinating insight into the life of the author of Frankenstein
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