In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein 
'Perfect equilibrium between the numinous and the touchable is typical of Sampson's achievement.' - Guardian
Mary Shelley was brought up in a house filled with radical thinkers, poets, philosophers and writers. The daughter of the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft - who died giving birth to her - and the revolutionary philosopher William Godwin, she eloped at sixteen with the notorious poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and embarked on a passionate relationship lived on the move across Britain and Europe. Before early widowhood changed her life forever, Mary experienced debt, infidelity and the deaths of three of her children. It was against this dramatic backdrop - and while she was still a teenager - that she composed one of literature's greatest novels, Frankenstein, creating in the process not one but two of today's most enduring archetypes.
The life story is well known. But who was the woman who lived it? In this fascinating dialogue with the past, Fiona Sampson sifts through the evidence - letters, diaries and records - to find the real person behind the story. She uncovers a complex, generous character - friend, intellectual, lover and mother - trying to fulfil her own powerful commitment to writing at a time when to be a woman writer was an extraordinary and costly anomaly.
Published for the two hundredth anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein, this is a major new work of biography by a prize-winning poet and writer.