The first book to describe and compare the fascinating and eerily similar lives of Mary Wollstonecraft, English feminist and author of the landmark book, The Vindication of the Rights of Women, and her daughter, Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein and wife of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Both women are immensely important for their achievements in literature and equality for women, yet most people today don’t even know they were related.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797) and her daughter Mary Shelley (1797–1851) have each been the subject of numerous biographies by top tier writers, yet no author has ever examined their lives in tandem. Perhaps this is because these two amazing women never knew each other—Wollstonecraft died of infection at the age of thirty-eight, a week after giving birth to her daughter. Nevertheless their lives were closely intertwined, their choices, dreams, and tragedies so eerily similar, it seems impossible to consider one without the other: both became famous writers; both fell in love with brilliant but impossible authors; both were single mothers and had children out of wedlock (a shocking and self-destructive act in their day); both broke out of the rigid conventions of their era and lived in exile; and both played important roles in the Romantic era during which they lived.
The lives of both Marys were nothing less than extraordinary, providing fabulous material for Charlotte Gordon, a gifted story teller. She seamlessly weaves their lives together in back and forth narratives, taking readers on a vivid journey across Revolutionary France and Victorian England, from the Italian seaports to the highlands of Scotland, in a book that reads like a richly textured historical novel. Download and start listening now!