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Mary Shelley Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Frankenstein has never been out of print since it debuted in 1818.4

Frankenstein isn't the only classic monster to come out of the ghost story contest of 1816. Byron's doctor John William Polidori wrote "The Vampyre," a story that has inspired vampire depictions from Dracula to Twilight.5

Mary Shelley once listened to Samuel Taylor Coleridge recite his poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" in her family's living room. Young Mary hid behind the couch to listen because she was supposed to be in bed.6

Shelley refused to eat sugar to protest the treatment of plantation slaves in the West Indies.7

Poor Fanny Imlay Godwin. William Godwin raised the illegitimate daughter of his late wife Mary Wollstonecraft after her death, but never made any secret of his preference for his own daughter, Mary. Fanny committed suicide in 1816 at the age of 22.8

Frankenstein has been made into hundreds of movies. In the 1931 film starring Boris Karloff, Universal Studios filmed two alternate endings, ultimately choosing to release the happy ending to the public. The movie was such a success that they made a sequel called The Bride of Frankenstein in 1935.9

When Percy Bysshe Shelley was cremated, his heart would not burn, possibly because of a health condition. His friend Edward Trelawny removed it from the fire and gave it to Mary Shelley. Legend has it she kept the crumbled remains in her desk.10

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