“Beware, for I am fearless and therefore powerful.”—Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
An all-consuming love affair.
A family torn apart by scandal.
A young author on the brink of greatness.
Hideous Love is the fascinating story of gothic novelist Mary Shelley, who as a teen girl ran away from her restrictive home only to find herself in the shadow of a brilliant but moody boyfriend, famed poet Percy Shelley. It is the story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of literature: a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein.
Reading this book was a great experience for me as I’ve been fascinated by Mary Shelley since I first read Frankenstein in high school, oh so long ago. If you don’t know much about Mary, don’t worry! Here are a few facts about this incredibly influential figure in English literature:
1. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was the author of The Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) and is often considered the first feminist. Her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, was one of the major English Romantic poets and, fun fact for Breaking Bad fans, was the author of the epic poem Ozymandias.
2. Mary started writing Frankenstein when she was only 19 years old. (When I was nineteen, my greatest achievement was once watching five seasons of Gilmore Girls in two days.)
3. Frankenstein has influenced popular culture for at least 100 years. Recent popular adaptations and retellings include Frankenweenie, Tim Burton’s film remake, London’s National Theatre’s stage version which starred Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as Kenneth Oppel’s novels This Dark Endeavor and Such Wicked Intent.
4. It is said that the plot of Frankenstein came to Mary in a terrifying dream about a scientist who created a monster.
5. Though she is certainly most famously known as the author of Frankenstein, she actually wrote several other works including two historical novels, Valperga and Perkin Warbeck, the apocalyptic sci-fi novel The Last Man (which Mary said was one of her favourite works), as well as Lodore and Falkner.
6. Fans of the sci-fi genre have a lot to thank Mary Shelley for as Frankenstein is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel published.
The story of Mary Shelley and her writing of Frankenstein is an incredible one. You can start reading Stephanie Hemphill’s novel on Shelley here!