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

The idea so possessed my mind that a thrill of fear ran through me, and I wished to exchange the ghastly image of my fancy for the realities around. I see them still; the very room, the dark parquet, the closed shutters, with the moonlight struggling through, and the sense I had that the glassy lake and white high Alps were beyond.

I write a few lines in haste to say that I am safe?and well advanced on my voyage. This letter will reach England by a merchantman now on its homeward voyage from Archangel; more fortunate than I, who may not see my native land, perhaps, for many years. I am, however, in good spirits: my men are bold and apparently firm of purpose, nor do the floating sheets of ice that continually pass us, indicating the dangers of the region towards which we are advancing, appear to dismay them. We have already reached a very high latitude; but it is the height of summer, and although not so warm as in England, the southern gales, which blow us speedily towards those shores which I so ardently desire to attain, breathe a degree of renovating warmth which I had not expected.

It is hardly surprising that women concentrate on the way they look instead of what is in their minds since not much has been put in their minds to begin with.

Life is obstinate and clings closest where it is most hated.

My own mind began to grow, watchful with anxious thoughts.

One wondering thought pollutes the day.

Solitude becomes a sort of tangible enemy, the more dangerous, because it dwells within the citadel itself.

The immense mountains and precipices that overhung me on every side ? the sound of the river raging among the rocks, and the dashing of the waterfalls around, spoke of a power mighty as Omnipotence ? and I ceased to fear, or to bend before any being less almighty than that which had created and ruled the elements, here displayed in their most terrific guise.

If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!

It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.

Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.

My person was hideous and my stature gigantic. What did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them.

Our faults are apt to assume giant and exaggerated forms to our eyes in youth.

Solitude was my only consolation deep, dark, deathlike solitude.

The instructor can scarcely give sensibility where it is essentially wanting, nor talent to the unpercipient block. But he can cultivate and direct the affections of the pupil, who puts forth, as a parasite, tendrils by which to cling, not knowing to what -- to a supporter or a destroyer.

If I see but one smile on your lips when we meet, occasioned by this or any other exertion of mine, I shall need no other happiness.

It is so long before the mind can persuade itself that she whom we saw every day and whose very existence appeared a part of our own can have departed forever ? that the brightness of a beloved eye can have been extinguished and the sound of a voice so familiar and dear to the ear can be hushed, never more to be heard. These are the reflections of the first days; but when the lapse of time proves the reality of the evil, then the actual bitterness of grief commences.

Listen to me, Frankenstein. You accuse me of murder; and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature. Oh, praise the eternal justice of man!

My reign is not yet over... you live, and my power is complete. Follow me; I seek the everlasting ices of the north, where you will feel the misery of cold and frost to which I am impassive. You will find near this place, if you follow not too tardily, a dead hare; eat and be refreshed. Come on, my enemy; we have yet to wrestle for our lives; but many hard and miserable hours must you endure until that period shall arrive.

Our feelings probably are not less strong at fifty than they were ten or fifteen years before; but they have changed their objects, and dwell on far different prospects. At five-and-thirty a man thinks of what his own existence is; when the maturity of age has grown into its autumn, he is wrapt up in that of others. The loss of wife or child then becomes more deplorable, as being impossible to repair; for no fresh connection can give us back the companion of our earlier years, nor a "new-sprung race" compensate for that, whose career we hoped to see run.

Some years ago, when the images which this world affords first opened upon me, when I felt the cheering warmth of summer and heard the rustling of the leaves and the warbling of the birds, and these were all to me, I should have wept to die; now it is my only consolation. Polluted by crimes and torn by the bitterest remorse, where can I find rest but in death?

The labors of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind.

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.

It is true that I have thought more and that my daydreams are more extended and magnificent, but they want (as the painters call it) KEEPING; and I greatly need a friend who would have sense enough not to despise me as romantic, and affection enough for me to endeavor to regulate my mind.

Look forward to future years, if not with eager anticipation, yet with a calm reliance upon the power of good, wholly remote from despair.

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