Biographies Featuring Mary Shelley

Category: Education

Presentation Description

A genre study on the elements of a biography using the life history of the famous author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley.


Presentation Transcript

Slide 1: 

A biography is an account of a person's life. It covers the person's background, personality and character, experiences, activities and achievements. A biography is written by another person. An autobiography is written by the person him/herself. Biographies Featuring Gothic Horror Writer, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley

Slide 2: 

“Frankenstein” Written by Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley in 1816, when she was 18 years old, completed when she was 19 years of age. Work inspired by a “waking dream” Explores themes in science we’re still debating today Biographies Featuring Gothic Horror Writer, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley

Slide 3: 

Introduction  Give the name of the person State when and where they lived Give brief reasons why the person is worth writing/talking about or is famous Main body Describe the person's life experiences Describe any significant events for the person Outline what they achieved and how they did this Describe their personality and any characteristics that are relevant  Conclusion Be sure to sum up what you have said in a few sentences Do not introduce any new pointsUse reliable information Remember to make your presentation interesting as well as informative. Use quotes by the person to add life and authenticity. Elements of a Good Biography… A good biography bringsthe person to life . . .makes us care about what she or he didwith time and opportunity.

Consider the Times : 

Consider the Times A mathematics teacher in Holland, Pieter Van Musschenbroek, invented a storage jar, called a Leyden jar, that showed that electricity could be stored for future use. Ben Franklin conducted his famous kite experiment in 1752. In Italy, in the late 1700s Luigi Galvani discovered that a dead frog's muscles twitched when it was placed near an electrical machine. He conducted experiments to try to explain why a dead frog appeared to jump. Alessandro Volta was interested in Galvani's experiments but thought the electricity came from the metals, such as the steel knife or the metal table. Volta is best known for inventing the voltaic pile, now called an electric cell or battery, in 1800. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin is born in Somers Town, Great Britain, 30 August 1797. Her birth coincides with the awakening of the Industrial Age and an age of great scientific discoveries… During the 18th century everyone was fascinated by electricity. Demonstrations of static electric generators were attractions at popular lectures.

Slide 5: 

Life Events: Famous Intellectual Parents Death of Mother/Jealous Stepmother Affair with Married Man – Percy Shelley Money Problems Estrangement with family Death of Baby Girl Clara Depression/Obsession with challenging the finality of death Biographies Featuring Gothic Horror Writer, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley

Slide 6: 

Mother (27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) pioneering feminist: Mary Wollstonecraft, died when Mary Shelley was only 10 days old. Wrote essays on women's rights and education. Father (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) philosopher/novelist: William Godwin, a radical social thinker that attracted the attention of Percy Bysshe Shelley, who on a visit to Godwin first met Mary Godwin, whom he would eventually marry. Lifestyle as a Child: Well-to-do, both parents were considered writers of high esteem. As a child Mary read her mother’s work and perhaps felt responsible for her death…her mother died of "childbed fever" or septicemia. Father remarried and stepmother was jealous of her.

Slide 7: 

Unusual for girls at the time, Mary received an excellent education. She published her first poem at the age of ten. Percy Bysshe Shelley (4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822) Poet: A political radical and free-thinker like her father, Percy Bysshe Shelley and his first wife Harriet often visited Godwin's home and bookshop in London. Significant Life Events: Mary and Percy elope in July 1814 to continental Europe when she is 16 years old. Godwin, her father refuses to communicate with her for the next 2 ½ years. Harriet, Percy’s first wife, is pregnant with their second child and gives birth in November 1814. February 1815 Mary gives birth prematurely to daughter Clara who dies two weeks later. Mary and Shelley married in 1816 after Shelley's first wife, Harriet, committed suicide by drowning.

Slide 8: 

During May of 1816, the couple traveled to Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Inspired by a ghost tale contest suggested by their friend, Lord Byron, Mary had what she called a waking dream that became the manuscript for her most famous work, titled ‘Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus.’ Biographies Featuring Gothic Horror Writer, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley

Slide 9: 

Lord Byron “I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life...His success would terrify the artist; he would rush away...hope that...this thing...would subside into dead matter...he opens his eyes; behold the horrid thing stands at his bedside, opening his curtains...” ~Mary Shelley Mary completed the novel in May of 1817 and it was published January 1, 1818. Her hideous child lives on… “My Hideous Progeny” Child The weather went from being beautiful and radiant to melodramatically tempestuous. Torrential rains and incredible lightning storms plagued the area. This incredible meteorological change was due to the eruption of the volcano, Tambora, in Indonesia. The weather, as well as the company and the Geneva district, contributed to the birth of Frankenstein.

Highs & Lows Points of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley’s life : 

Highs & Lows Points of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley’s life In 1818 the Mary and Percy Shelley left England for Italy. 7 June, 1819, their son Will dies in Rome from malaria. Mary suffers a nervous breakdown after the death of William. 12 November 1819 Mary gives birth to her only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley. 16 June 1822 Mary miscarries and almost dies from the resulting hemorrhaging. In July 1822, Percy sailed up the Italian coast and was caught in a storm on his return. He drowned July 8 along with his friend Edward Williams and a young boat attendant. At 25 years of age Mary becomes a widow. 24 February 1823, Sir Shelley, Percy’s father wants custody of Mary’s only living son and will not financially provide for him unless his request is honored. Mary suffers from depression, a tendency many historians feel she probably inherited from her mother.

And the rest of the story… : 

And the rest of the story… Mary wrote many novels including ‘Valperga,' ‘The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck,' ‘The Last Man,' and ‘Falkner‘. Mary promoted her late husband's work, including editing and annotating unpublished material. Mary refuses a marriage proposal from American actor, playwright, and manager John Howard Payne 25 June 1825. Mary helps Thomas Moore compose a biography of Lord Byron which is published in 1830. She tries very hard to free herself from the strains put on her by being the daughter and wife of such well-known people. She maintains her liberal opinions but at the same time tries to fit into a more conservative society. She writes an apologia in her journal, which reveals "the stresses of a life spent trying to measure up to the example, yet to escape the obloquy [infamy], of her parents and husband." Note: 31 October 1831, for the first time, Mary W. Shelley is identified as the author of Frankenstein, thirteen years after it was first published. “. . . nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose.” ~ Mary Shelley

Slide 12: 

Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley Died at 53 years of age Buried at Saint Peter Churchyard BournemouthDorset, England Birth:  30 August 1797 Death:  1 February 1851 Inscription: Mary Wollstonecraft ShelleyDaughter ofWilliam & Mary Wollstonecraft GodwinAnd Widow of the Late Percy Bysshe ShelleyBorn August 30th, 1797, died February 1st, 1851 ChildrenPercy Florence ShelleyThird BaronetSon of Percy Bysshe Shelley & Mary Wollstonecraft ShelleyBorn Nov 12th, 1819, Died Dec. 5th, 1889 Jane Shelley Widow of the aboveBorn Feb. 24th 1820 Died June 24th, 1899

Slide 13: 

Bibliography Featuring Gothic Horror Writer, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley Great Books: Mary W. Shelley - Frankenstein. Discovery Channel School. 1994. unitedstreaming. [Online] 23 February 2008<>. The History of Electricity. ThinkQuest. [Online] 24 February 2008. <>. “Mary Shelley Godwin”. Find a Grave. Record added: Jan 1 2001. [Online] 23 February 2008. <>. Teese, Nerelie. “The Biography: identifying its generic elements. Virtual Library: Biographical Assignments. [Online] 24 February 2008. Voller, Jack G.   "Mary Shelley."   The Literary Gothic.  18 Jan. 2008.  [Online] 23 February 2008. Remember: Always give credit to where you find the information for your presentation.

authorStream Live Help