Mary Shelley and Frankenstein

Hello again, Amy. It's nice that you didn't wait until the middle of the night to contact me this time. What's that? You bought the book Frankenstein when you were in the city? 

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Okay. Well as I've said before, these kind of books are probably not a good idea for a bedtime read in the 19th century where you currently live. You can't even leave a light on. Oh. You have an oil lamp beside your bed now? 

That's good. But really there's nothing to be frightened of. Yes, Mary Shelley did write Frankenstein as a horror story, but that's all it is, right? Just a story.

As a matter of fact, the writer Mary Shelley titled her book: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The word "Prometheus" is from Greek mythology and Prometheus was the smartest of all the Titans. He stole fire from the Gods of Mount Olympus to give to mankind and was subsequently punished for it, for all of eternity.
It makes sense that Mary was thinking of this myth when she wrote Frankenstein while living in London in 1818 at the age of 21.

Mary's name at birth was Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. Her father was a political writer and her mother was an author and feminist. Tragic as it was, her mother died shortly after Mary was born. It is said that Mary often read books as a child, at times beside the grave of her mother. She said herself that she loved to write stories as she was growing up, and through her father's company, she published her first poem, "Mounseer Nongtongpaw, when she was only ten years old.

In 1816 Mary wed Percy Shelly and soon after started writing her Frankenstein novel.

As a widow at the young age of 24, Mary supported herself and her son by writing more novels, including the science fiction story, The Last Man.

Mary Shelley died in 1851 at the age of 53. Her Frankenstein novel remains as popular as ever.