A SCANDALOUS LIFE
Mary Shelley’s life was like a modern day soap opera — full of scandal and controversy. She challenged the conventions of the time in her private life and as an author, especially in the nine years she was with the poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley.
They met in 1814 when she was sixteen and he was twenty-one and already married with a child. It was an intellectual as well as a physical passion for them both and after just two months they eloped to Switzerland. To add to the scandal, they took Mary’s step-sister Claire with them.
Mary loved Shelley enough to brave the disgust of their families and of nineteenth century English society, but it was much harder for her to cope with the jealousy of Claire, who also loved Shelley.