Lost and Found: Mary Shelley Letters

Mary-Shelleys-sealAs the author of Frankenstein, not to mention the wife of Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley holds a justifiably famous place in English literature. Biographers have poured over her correspondence and studied in minute detail what contemporaries wrote about her.

Frankenstein has been adapted to numerous movies and plays, the Creature is now a stock element of Halloween, and the concept of man playing God has become an archetype of the mad scientist in western literature and film.

Considering this intense scrutiny, it’s amazing that Professor Nora Crook of Anglia Ruskin University discovered 13 previously unpublished letters of Mary Shelley just last year.

Mary shelleyWhile the letters have not yielded great revelations, they do offer another peek into Mary’s personal life, her pride in her teenaged son and her friendship with the recipient, Horace Smith, a stockbroker friend of the family.

Plus, several missives still have affixed blobs of crimson wax stamped with Mary’s previously unknown (and surprisingly modern) seal.

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I love Letterdipity!

4 thoughts on “Lost and Found: Mary Shelley Letters

  1. Pingback: Film Friday: Bright Star | Post Whistle

  2. Phoebe Conn says:

    Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s mother, wrote THE VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN, a feminist tour de force in 1792. It could have been written yesterday because women still do not have equal rights with men.

  3. Jacquie Mendenhall says:

    I was listening to KPCC program talking about future archivists will have difficulty in researching, because most people now e-mail, or blog – and if you don’t keep up=dating the records, they will eventually disappear! How will we be able to look back, research writers & poets? Technology is wonderful, but we lose something. Also, I understand that the majority of children cannot read cursive writing! How sad.

    • Susan Lendroth says:

      I know. Paper may have limitations, but it has lasted centuries, even when shoved in a box rather than carefully archived. Only future generations will be able to ascertain how well electronic messaging holds up.

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