Mary Shelley, née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin

Mary
Shelley, née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin
1797
1851

English Novelist, Short Story Writer, Dramatist, Essayist, Biographer, and Travel Writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein

Author Quotes

Live, and be happy, and make others so.

It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.

Oh! Be men, or be more than men. Be steady to your purposes and firm as a rock. This ice is not made of such stuff as your hearts may be; it is mutable and cannot withstand you if you say that it shall not. Do not return to your families with the stigma of disgrace marked on your brows. Return as heroes who have fought and conquered, and who know not what it is to turn their backs on the foe.

Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.

A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind. If this rule were always observed; if no man allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with the tranquillity of his domestic affections, Greece had not been enslaved, Caesar would have spared his country, America would have been discovered more gradually, and the empires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed.

How mutable are our feelings, and how strange is that clinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery!

If our impulses were confined to hunger, thirst, and desire, we might be nearly free; but now we are moved by every wind that blows and a chance word or scene that that word may convey to us.

My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not endure the violence of the change without torture such as you cannot even imagine.

When falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness?

With how many things are we on the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries.

How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow.

The beginning is always today.

Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.

Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose - a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.

Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos.

A slavish bondage to parents cramps every faculty of the mind.

Ah! It is well for the unfortunate to be resigned, but for the guilty there is no peace.

Author Picture
First Name
Mary
Last Name
Shelley, née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin
Birth Date
1797
Death Date
1851
Bio

English Novelist, Short Story Writer, Dramatist, Essayist, Biographer, and Travel Writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein