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Mary and Maria, Matilda
  • Published: 6 January 1993
  • ISBN: 9780141905167
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

Mary and Maria, Matilda



These three works of fiction - two by Mary Wollstonecraft, the radical author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and one by her daughter Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein - are powerfully emotive stories that combine passion with forceful feminist argument. In Mary Wollstonecraft's Mary, the heroine flees her young husband in order to nurse her dearest friend, Ann, and finds genuine love, while Maria tells of a desperate young woman who seeks consolation in the arms of another man after the loss of her child. And Mary Shelley's Matilda - suppressed for over a century - tells the story of a woman alienated from society by the incestuous passion of her father. Humane, compassionate and highly controversial, these stories demonstrate the strongly original genius of their authors.

  • Published: 6 January 1993
  • ISBN: 9780141905167
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

About the authors

Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft was born in 1759 in Spitalfields, London. After an unsettled childhood, she opened a school following which, her first work, Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, was published in 1787. After a stint as governess in Ireland, she continued to write and published several other works including Mary (1788), A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790) and her most famous, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). That year she travelled to Paris where she met Gilbert Imlay, by whom she had a daughter, Fanny. Her travels around Scandinavia with her baby daughter in 1795, inspired her travel book Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, but on returning to London Imlay’s neglect drove her to two suicide attempts. In 1797 she married William Godwin, and had a daughter, the future Mary Shelley. Wollstonecraft died of septicaemia shortly after the birth.

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley was born in London on 30 August 1797. Her mother, the celebrated feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft, died a few days after her birth.Her father, William Godwin, a well-known anarchist and atheist writer, tutored Mary. In 1814, when she was sixteen, she fell in love with the married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and they eloped to France. In 1816 the couple travelled to Lake Geneva to spend the summer with the poet Byron. Mary was inspired to write Frankenstein after Byron arranged a ghost story competition during their stay. In the autumn of 1816 Shelley's pregnant wife drowned herself in the Serpentine in Hyde Park and Shelley immediately married Mary. The couple had four children together but only one son survived infancy. They lived in Italy until Percy's death in a boating accident in 1822. Mary continued to write until her death in London on 1 February 1851. She is buried in Bournemouth.

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