Mary, Mary, Mary What’s in a name? What’s in a legacy when one great figure’s death gives birth, quite literally, to another literary genius? Mary Wollstonecraft, often hailed as the mother of the equal rights movement, died just 7 days after giving birth to Mary Shelley, the famed author of Frankenstein.
Shelley aspired to her mother’s greatness as a social figure and lived plagued with guilt because of her implicit role in her mother’s death. After the death of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley’s father married yet another Mary, Mary Shelley’s “second momma,” further complicating Shelley’s view of motherhood, family, and invention.
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