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 day of my departure at length arrived. Clerval spent the last evening with us. He had endeavored to persuade his father to permit him to accompany me and to become my fellow student, but in vain. His father was a narrow-minded trader, and saw idleness and ruin in the aspirations and ambition of his son. Henry deeply felt the misfortune of being debarred from a liberal education. He said little, but when he spoke I read in his kindling eye and in his animated glance a restrained but firm resolve not to be chained to the miserable details of commerce.

Invention consists in the capacity of seizing on the capabilities of a subject, and in the power of molding and fashioning ideas suggested to it.

Justine shook her head mournfully. I do not fear to die, she said; that pang is past. God raises my weakness and gives me courage to endure the worst. I leave a sad and bitter world; and if you remember me and think of me as of one unjustly condemned, I am resigned to the fate awaiting me. Learn from me, dear lady, to submit in patience to the will of heaven!

My education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading.

Oh! Stars and clouds and winds, ye are all about to mock me; if ye really pity me, crush sensation and memory; let me become as nought; but if not, depart, depart, and leave me in darkness.

Seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries.

The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.

A man would make but a very sorry chemist if he attended to that department of human knowledge alone.

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.

Death! mysterious, ill-visaged friend of weak humanity! Why alone of all mortals have you cast me from your sheltering fold? Oh, for the peace of the grave! the deep silence of the iron-bound toTthat thought would cease to work in my brain, and my heart beat no more with emotions varied only by new forms of sadness!

Farewell I leave you, and in you the last of humankind whom these eyes will ever behold. Farewell, Frankenstein If thou wert yet alive and yet cherished a desire of revenge against me, it would be better satiated in my life than in my destruction. But it was not so; thou didst seek my extinction, that I might not cause greater wretchedness; and if yet, in some mode unknown to me, thou hadst not ceased to think and feel, thou wouldst not desire against me a vengeance greater than that which I feel. Blasted as thou wert, my agony was still superior to thine, for the bitter sting of remorse will not cease to rankle in my wounds until death shall close them forever.

His conversation was full of imagination, and very often in limitation of their Persian, and Arabic writers, he invented tales of wonderful fancy and passion. At other times he repeated my favorite poems or drew me out into arguments, which he supported with great ingenuity.

I can hardly describe to you the effect of these books. They produced in me an infinity of new images and feelings that sometimes raised me to ecstasy, but more frequently sunk me into the lowest dejection.

I felt emotions of gentleness and pleasure, that had long appeared dead, revived within me. Half surprised by the novelty of these sensations, I allowed myself to be borne away by them, and forgetting my solitude and deformity, dared to be happy. Soft tears again bedewed my cheeks, and I even raised my humid eyes with thankfulness towards the blessed sun, which bestowed such joy upon me.

I saw how the fine form of man was degraded and wasted; I beheld the corruption of death succeed to the blooming cheek of life; I saw how the worm inherited the wonders of the eye and brain.

A miserable spectacle of wrecked humanity, pitiable to others and intolerable to myself.

Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.

Devil, cease; and do not poison the air with these sounds of malice. I have declared my resolution to you, and I am no coward to bend beneath words. Leave me; I am inexorable.

For a moment my soul was elevated from its debasing and miserable fears to which these sights were the monuments and the remembrances. For an instant I dared to shake off my chains, and look around me with a free and lofty spirit; but the iron had eaten into my flesh, and I sank again, trembling and hopeless, into my miserable self.

His science was simply human and human science, I soon convinced myself, could never conquer nature's laws so far as to imprison the soul.

I cannot describe to you the agony that these reflections inflicted upon me; I tried to dispel them, but sorrow only increased with knowledge. Oh, that I had forever remained in my native wood, nor known nor felt beyond the sensations of hunger, thirst, and heat!

I felt that blank incapability of invention which is the greatest misery of authorship, when dull Nothing replies to our anxious invocations.

I saw no cause for their unhappiness, but I was deeply affected by it. If such lovely creatures were miserable, it was less strange that I, an imperfect and solitary being, should be wretched.

Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?

But he found that a traveler's life is one that includes much pain amidst its enjoyments. His feelings are forever on the stretch; and when he begins to sink into repose, he finds himself obliged to quit that on which he rests in pleasure for something new, which again engages his attention, and which also he forsakes for other novelties.

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