Mary Shelley, writer of the first science fiction novel FRANKENSTEIN; OR, THE MODERN PROMETHEUS, was born 226 years ago
The daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, writer Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born on August 30, 1797. Her seminal work Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), often considered the very first science fiction story, created the iconic mad scientist-monster tale.
Though best remembered for her archetypal creation, Shelley wrote six other novels most, notably the historicals Valperga; Or, The Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca (1823) and The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck (1834), and perhaps most famously the apocalyptic The Last Man (1826). Her two dozen supernatural short stories have been collected by Tachyon in print as THE MORTAL IMMORTAL (1996) and as the ebook BEYOND FRANKENSTEIN (2017). She penned numerous poems, travel narratives and children’s books and also contributed several entries to The Lives of the Most Eminent Literary and Scientific Men, which comprised ten volumes of Dionysius Lardner’s 133-Volume Cabinet Cyclopaedia (1829–46).