Who Was She?
Mary Shelley was born on August 30, 1797 to parents William Godwin and 18th-century women’s activist, Mary Wollstonecraft. At 19 years old, she married Percy Shelley, a Romantic poet with strong political themes in his work.
Perhaps the most famous account of the couple is that of the summer they spent with Lord Byron, Claire Clairmont and John William Polidori in Geneva, during which Mary began writing her infamous epic: Frankenstein. Though in the past, she was often sidelined to the popularity of Lord Byron and her husband, despite the enduring success of her first novel, it is now clear that Mary was an opinionated activist and is often credited as the Mother of Science Fiction, a half-century before Jules Verne and later H.G. Wells supposedly founded the genre.
Mary’s life was hemmed in by tragedy with the death of her mother when she was only an infant, the death of her husband in a sailing accident and the young deaths of three of her four children. Perhaps it is little wonder that she penned one of the most tragic but defining novels of the 19th century.
Girl’s Night Out with Mary Shelley
This sleek, edgy ensemble is perfect for your evening with Mary, surely filled with vibrant conversation and inspiring ideas.
The off-the-shoulder black lace blouse is inspired by Mary’s famous portrait, at left, but with a certain modern charm, while the waterfall black pencil skirt manages to be both subtle and eye-catching.
Bright royal purple stilettos keep the outfit from being too dour, and to top it off, a quirky lavender skull cameo that’s sure to appeal to Mary’s affinity for all things Gothic.
Legend has it that Mary’s summer in Geneva was marked by brilliant achievements, but also by vast consumption of absinthe, that most notorious of drinks, so often held responsible for the madness and decline of so many creatives. Sip it carefully; this is one to stay shy of overindulging on!
Happy 217th Birthday, Mary!