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Blog post from Sunday, 30 August, 2015

Mary Shelley, best known for her novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, was born on this day, 30th August 1797.

Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, in London. She was the daughter of philosopher and political writer William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft—the author of The Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792).

She married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1816 following the death of his first wife, but he died tragically in 1822, drowning after sailing in the Gulf of Spezia.

The lock of hair is from the State Library of New South Wales collections, part of the Berry Family Realia collection. On Mary Shelley’s death in 1851, a lock of her hair was sent to Alexander Berry as a keepsake.

The State Library of New South Wales also holds a large collection of letters and diaries of Mary Shelley in the Shelley Family Papers.