Moving Beyond Mary Shelley

April 24, 2019 | 1 book mentioned

For the Los Angeles Review of Books blog, Rachel Feder considers why Mary Shelley is often credited as the “ingénue inventor of speculative fiction,” while authors like Margaret Cavendish remain relatively unknown. “To take Shelley seriously means acknowledging the unromantic nature of this time in her actual human life,” Feder writes. “It also means including Shelley’s long career as a working single mother, publishing to support and maintain custody of her only surviving child, as part of the story. And if we want to take women writers seriously in general, then we need to see past the fantasy of Mary Shelley as the inventor of a genre to the authors who innovated the Gothic and science fiction genres on which Frankenstein is based.”

Image credit: Richard Rothwell

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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