I’ll be at Baycon this weekend speaking about Mary Shelley. Here’s five facts you might not know about the author of Frankenstein and The Last Man:
1. Mary eloped with Percy Shelley when she was only seventeen. She was a widow by the age of twenty-four.
2. When her husband died, he was cremated. Because Percy Shelley had calcification of the heart, his heart did not burn, and Mary Shelley kept it in her desk.
3. Mary helped an abused woman escape from an abusive husband and flee England with the woman she loved. She concocted a scheme that involved one of the women dressing as a man, and them living in France for many years under false names.
4. Mary was close to many people who died young – her half-sister Fanny (suicide), Percy Shelley (sailing accident), Edward Williams (the same sailing accident), John Polidori (suicide), Harriet Shelley (suicide), Byron (illness), and Keats (illness). She had five pregnancies but only one child lived to adulthood.
5. The heroine of Mary’s novel Valperga is named Euthanasia. Other unusual names in her books include Idris (The Last Man),and Perkin (The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck),
Hope to see you at BayCon!