Frankenstein: The ‘Who Really Wrote It Argument’ – And Other Nonsense

Here’s the silly argument: Mary Shelley didn’t actually write Frankenstein: Percy Shelley is the true author.

I don’t know how many of you have read many pieces by both Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley, but Mary is certainly the author of Frankenstein. It is true that Percy Shelley did edit the book for Mary, and you can see his numerous contributions towards particular passages in the original MS (which I was fortunate enough to study first-hand at the Bodley in Oxford), but P. Shelley did NOT write the novel. It’s not even written in his style. Mary’s novel, Last Man (written after Shelley’s death), serves as further support that she wrote Frankenstein because the style of both novels are very similar.

Fie! If this argument wasn’t so flimsy and ridiculous, it would be extraordinarily disrespectful to Mary. I don’t understand the thinking behind this accusation. Is it really that ludicrous that a young woman could write such an original and provocative piece of literature? Are so many people reticent to believe that as possibility that they have to assign it to a male author? Now, anyone who even glances at my blog here knows I am all about the Percy Shelley love, but it’s absolutely ridiculous to postulate P. Shelley as the author of Frankenstein. Give credit where credit is due: to Mary Godwin Shelley.

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