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this intense scrutiny, it’s amazing that Professor Nora Crook of Anglia Ruskin University discovered 13 previously unpublished letters of Mary Shelley just last year.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