Mary Shelley was the daughter of two radical thinkers of the day. Her mother was Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women, and her father was William Godwin who wrote Political Justice.
She had been brought up to appreciate the life of the mind, and Shelley’s intensity and enthusiasm for political and social reform captured her imagination.
Shelley also believed in her potential as a writer, whereas, until the success of Frankenstein, she was less certain of her abilities. During his life, Shelley encouraged and promoted her, so that after his death, she was able to make a living from her writing.
She wrote several books as well as Frankenstein:
History of a Six Weeks’ Tour through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland; Valperga: Or, the Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca; The Last Man;The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck, A Romance; Lodore; Falkner. A Novel; Rambles in Germany and Italy, in 1840, 1842, and 1843; Mathilda; Maurice or the Fisher’s Cot
She also wrote more than twenty stories, plus biographical entries in text books as well as editing the complete works of Shelley.
Her acquaintances thought of her as a strong woman. She was often outspoken, and could be sharp.