7 Hair-Raising Facts About Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley, everyone’s favorite badass horror author, is having a birthday on August 30th!

Here are seven of the most spook-tastic facts about the woman who wrote Frankenstein!



1. Mary Shelley lost her v-card in a graveyard


An 18th century graveyardImage via City-Data


I, personally, can’t think of anything more goth.

She is also said to have been 16-years-old at the time, which led to rumors about the young writer to start a-flying, something that her father found to be deeply shameful.


2. She also lost her V-Card to a married man


Percy ShelleyImage via Wikipedia


This is Percy Shelley, the man who did the deed.

At the time of said deed Percy was married to a young woman named Harriet Westbrook. He was also older than Mary by about six years.

Now that’s some good tea.



3. The same man left his pregnant wife to be with Mary


Harriet and PercyImage via Word Press


And the tea gets hotter still. Harriet Westbrook was pregnant when Percy Shelley left her for Mary. Goths win every time.


4. Some believe that Shelley’s father killed Her Lover’s pregnant Ex-wife


William GodwinImage via Wikipedia


The hottest of the teas. Harriet was found dead in a river soon after Percy left her for Mary. The official cause of death is suicide, but that didn’t stop rumors from spreading.

Many people believe that William Godwin, Mary’s father, murdered Harriet in order to protect his daughters public image.



5. Mary wrote Frankenstein on a dare


Frankenstein's monsterImage via Smithsonian Magazine


Mary was spending a night with friends, reading spooky stories and sharing tales of the supernatural, when they challenged each other to write ghost stories of their own.

Mary took this challenge to heart, though she struggled to arrive at a concept that excited her.

When she had a nightmare about a doctor re-animating a corpse, Frankenstein was born.


6. Shelley was 19 when she began writing Frankenstein


Mary ShelleyImage via Biography.com


Frankenstein was published when Shelley was 22, but she began writing the horror classic at the age of 19.

Many people believe that she was able to write at such a young age because she was incredibly talented, I think that’s what happens when you’re a natural born goth.



7. Shelley kept her late husband’s calcified heart


Image via The British Library


At the age of 29, Percy Shelley drowned after his boat was caught in a storm. When his body was cremated it appeared that his heart was unable to burn due to an earlier bout of tuberculosis.

At this point in her life, Mary Shelley had experienced the deaths of two of her three children, and was unfortunately familiar with the grieving process. However, she didn’t handle her grief in the way you’d expect. After her death, her only surviving son cleared out her desk to find not only Percy’s heart, but locks of hair from her late children as well.

Once again, goth queen.





Featured image via The Spectator and Design Tutsplus