book review, nonfiction, young adult

Mary Shelley: The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein’s Creator by Catherine Reef (ARC Review)

Title: Mary Shelley
Author: Catherine Reef
Type: Nonfiction
Genre: Biography
Publisher: Clarion Books (HMH Books)
Date published: September 18, 2018

A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

On the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein,comes a riveting biography of its author, Mary Shelley, whose life reads like a dark gothic novel, filled with scandal, death, drama, and one of the strangest love stories in literary history.

The story of Frankenstein’s creator is a strange, romantic, and tragic one, as deeply compelling as the novel itself. Mary ran away to Lake Geneva with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley when she was just sixteen. It was there, during a cold and wet summer, that she first imagined her story about a mad scientist who brought a corpse back to life. Success soon followed for Mary, but also great tragedy and misfortune.

Catherine Reef brings this passionate woman, brilliant writer, and forgotten feminist into crisp focus, detailing a life that was remarkable both before and after the publication of her iconic masterpiece. Includes index.

– My Review –

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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is a historical figure who has always fascinated me. I think that I had an interest in her ever since I found out that Frankenstein had been written by a woman, and that that woman was Mary Shelley. When I found out that she had connections to Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron, I was even more intrigued because those two are some of my favourite Romantic poets! In university, I learned about the cold and stormy night in Geneva when Mary, Percy, and Lord Byron decided that they would each write a scary/horror story, and that what Mary came up with ended up being the very first draft of her most famous book; Frankenstein!

It should, then, come as no surprise that when I found out that this book was coming out, I just had to get my hands on a copy. When the cover was revealed, the feeling only intensified, because I am utterly in love with it. Honestly, the cover for this book is pure perfection, and really matches the indeed “strange tale” of Mary Shelley’s life which can be found in the interior. There were so many things about Mary Shelly that I learned in this book, and I respect her all the more now! The opposite happened when it comes to Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron though. If the facts in this book are accurate, while those two men were quite talented, they also made some very selfish and irrational choices, and I’m not sure how I feel about them now.

– About the Author –

 

Catherine Reef is the author of more than 35 nonfiction books for young people. Her books for Clarion include the highly acclaimed JOHN STEINBECK and SIGMUND FREUD, which was the recipient of the 2002 Sydney Taylor Award, presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries. She lives in College Park, Maryland.

– Purchase Links –

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THANK YOU FOR READING MY BOOK REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

22 thoughts on “Mary Shelley: The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein’s Creator by Catherine Reef (ARC Review)

    1. Haha then it’s the book for you (even if you didn’t like Frankenstein)! It was not my favourite plot (and I liked it for the writing only really), but Shelley’s story really is quite interesting!

    1. Ahhhhh thank you so much for that! I have days when I almost quit bookstagram because it’s such a struggle! Thank you so much for your kind words and for reading my post!

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