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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Shelley’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Jane Wells Webb Loudon
19 August 1807 – 13 July 1858

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Jane Wells Webb Loudon

Jane Wells Webb Loudon was born in 1807 to Thomas Webb, Esq., a wealthy manufacturer from Edgbaston, Birmingham and his wife. (Sources vary on her place of birth: according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB), she was born at Ritwell House—possibly the same as Kitwell House at Bartley Green.) After the death of her mother in 1819, she travelled Europe for a year with her father, learning several languages. On their return his business faltered, and as a consequence of over speculation, his fortune was lost. He sold the house in Edgbaston and they moved to another of his properties, Kitwell House at Bartley Green, 6 miles away. He died penniless in 1824, when Jane Webb was only 17.

After her father’s death, she found that:
on the winding up of his affairs that it would be necessary to do something for my support. I had written a strange, wild novel, called the Mummy, in which I had laid the scene in the twenty-second century, and attempted to predict the state of improvement to which this country might possibly arrive.

She may have drawn inspiration from the general fashion for anything Pharaonic, inspired by the French researches during the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt; the 1821 public unwrappings of Egyptian mummies in a theatre near Piccadilly, which she may have attended as a girl; and, very likely, the 1818 novel by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein. As Shelley had written of Frankenstein’s creation, “A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch,” which may have triggered young Miss Webb’s later concept. In any case, at many points she deals in greater clarity with elements from the earlier book: the loathing for the much-desired object, the immediate arrest for crime and attempt to lie one’s way out of it, etc. However, unlike the Frankenstein monster, the hideous revived Cheops is not shuffling around dealing out horror and death, but giving canny advice on politics and life to those who befriend him. In some ways The Mummy! may be seen as her reaction to themes in Frankenstein: her mummy specifically says he is allowed life only by divine favour, rather than being indisputably vivified only by mortal science, and so on, as Hopkins’ 2003 essay covers in detail.

Unlike many early science fiction works (Shelley’s The Last Man, and The Reign of King George VI, 1900-1925, written anonymously in 1763), Loudon did not portray the future as her own day with only political changes. She filled her world with foreseeable changes in technology, society, and even fashion. Her court ladies wear trousers and hair ornaments of controlled flame. Surgeons and lawyers may be steam-powered automatons. A kind of Internet is predicted in it. Besides trying to account for the revivification of the mummy in scientific terms—galvanic shock rather than incantations–“she embodied ideas of scientific progress and discovery, that now read like prophecies” to those later down the 1800s. Her social attitudes have resulted in this book being ranked among feminist novels.

The Mummy!: Or a Tale of the Twenty-Second Century was published anonymously in 1827 by Henry Colburn in three volumes, as was usual in that day so that each small volume could be easily carried around. It drew many favourable reviews, including one in 1829 in The Gardener’s Magazine on the inventions proposed in it.

Among other foreshadowings of things that were to be, was a steam plough, and this attracted the attention of Mr. John C. Loudon, whose numerous and valuable works on gardening, agriculture, etc., are so well known, led to an acquaintance, which terminated in a matrimonial connection.

John Loudon wrote a favourable review of The Mummy in a journal he edited. Seeking out the author of the text, presuming that person to be male, he eventually met Jane in 1830, and they married a year later.

In 1829, Loudon published the semi-fictional Stories of a Bride, her second and last foray in fiction.

She became fascinated with her husband’s field of agriculture and gardening. She found the gardening manuals of the day confusing as they were written for those already deeply into the field via some apprenticeship: there were no entry-level manuals. She saw the need for and potential interest in such books, and set to writing them as she herself learned: Instructions in Gardening for Ladies; The Ladies’ Flower Garden; The Ladies’ Companion to the Flower Garden; Botany for Ladies; The Lady’s Magazine of Gardening, etc. According to Adams, these became “standard books of reference, and attained a large circulation.” She was not only influenced by her husband in gardening, but by John Lindley, whose lectures she attended; she ardently seconded his concepts of gardening as an occupation very fit for ladies.

She learned to plant and tend in the meticulous manner her husband needed for his researches and was his helper, if not co-author, on his books hereafter.

In 1832, they had a daughter, Agnes Loudon. She became an author of children’s books.
The Loudons were considered the leading horticulturalists of their day, and their circle of friends included Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackery.

In 1843, John Loudon died of lung cancer, leaving Jane with a 10-year-old daughter, Agnes. In addition to earning her living by writing, Loudon received “a pension of a hundred pounds per annum, from the Civil List, which she has deservedly gained.”

In late 1849, Loudon was editing The Ladies’ Companion at Home and Abroad, a new magazine for women. Although highly successful in the beginning, book sales decline and she resigned as editor. Loudon died in 1858 at fifty-one years of age.

  • The Mummy!: Or a Tale of the Twenty-Second Century (1827)
  • Stories of a Bride (1829)
  • Young Ladies Book of Botany (1838)
  • Gardening for Ladies (1840)
  • Botany for Ladies (1842)
  • The Ladies Magazine of Gardening (1842)
  • The Ladies Companion to the Flower Garden (four volumes, 1840–44)
  • My Own Garden (1855)

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Mary Wollstonecraft
1777 – March 31 1844

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Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft was born on 27 April 1759 in Spitalfields, London. She was the second of the seven children of Edward John Wollstonecraft and Elizabeth Dixon. Although her family had a comfortable income when she was a child, her father gradually squandered it on speculative projects. Consequently, the family became financially unstable and they were frequently forced to move during Wollstonecraft’s youth.

The family’s financial situation eventually became so dire that Wollstonecraft’s father compelled her to turn over money that she would have inherited at her maturity. Moreover, he was apparently a violent man who would beat his wife in drunken rages. As a teenager, Wollstonecraft used to lie outside the door of her mother’s bedroom to protect her. Wollstonecraft played a similar maternal role for her sisters, Everina and Eliza, throughout her life. For example, in a defining moment in 1784, she convinced Eliza, who was suffering from what was probably postpartum depression, to leave her husband and infant; Wollstonecraft made all of the arrangements for Eliza to flee, demonstrating her willingness to challenge social norms. The human costs, however, were severe: her sister suffered social condemnation and, because she could not remarry, was doomed to a life of poverty and hard work.

Two friendships shaped Wollstonecraft’s early life. The first was with Jane Arden in Beverley. The two frequently read books together and attended lectures presented by Arden’s father, a self-styled philosopher and scientist. Wollstonecraft revelled in the intellectual atmosphere of the Arden household and valued her friendship with Arden greatly, sometimes to the point of being emotionally possessive. Wollstonecraft wrote to her: “I have formed romantic notions of friendship… I am a little singular in my thoughts of love and friendship; I must have the first place or none.” In some of Wollstonecraft’s letters to Arden, she reveals the volatile and depressive emotions that would haunt her throughout her life.

The second and more important friendship was with Fanny (Frances) Blood, introduced to Wollstonecraft by the Clares, a couple in Hoxton who became parental figures to her; Wollstonecraft credited Blood with opening her mind. Unhappy with her home life, Wollstonecraft struck out on her own in 1778 and accepted a job as a lady’s companion to Sarah Dawson, a widow living in Bath. However, Wollstonecraft had trouble getting along with the irascible woman (an experience she drew on when describing the drawbacks of such a position in Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, 1787). In 1780 she returned home, called back to care for her dying mother. Rather than return to Dawson’s employ after the death of her mother, Wollstonecraft moved in with the Bloods. She realized during the two years she spent with the family that she had idealized Blood, who was more invested in traditional feminine values than was Wollstonecraft. But Wollstonecraft remained dedicated to her and her family throughout her life (she frequently gave pecuniary assistance to Blood’s brother, for example).

Wollstonecraft had envisioned living in a female utopia with Blood; they made plans to rent rooms together and support each other emotionally and financially, but this dream collapsed under economic realities. In order to make a living, Wollstonecraft, her sisters, and Blood set up a school together in Newington Green, a Dissenting community. Blood soon became engaged and after their marriage her husband, Hugh Skeys, took her to Lisbon, Portugal to improve her health, which had always been precarious. Despite the change of surroundings Blood’s health further deteriorated when she became pregnant, and in 1785 Wollstonecraft left the school and followed Blood to nurse her, but to no avail. Moreover, her abandonment of the school led to its failure. Blood’s death devastated Wollstonecraft and was part of the inspiration for her first novel, Mary: A Fiction (1788).

After Blood’s death, Wollstonecraft’s friends helped her obtain a position as governess to the daughters of the Anglo-Irish Kingsborough family in Ireland. Although she could not get along with Lady Kingsborough, the children found her an inspiring instructor; Margaret King would later say she “had freed her mind from all superstitions”. Some of Wollstonecraft’s experiences during this year would make their way into her only children’s book, Original Stories from Real Life (1788).

Frustrated by the limited career options open to respectable yet poor women—an impediment which Wollstonecraft eloquently describes in the chapter of Thoughts on the Education of Daughters entitled “Unfortunate Situation of Females, Fashionably Educated, and Left Without a Fortune”—she decided, after only a year as a governess, to embark upon a career as an author. This was a radical choice, since, at the time, few women could support themselves by writing. As she wrote to her sister Everina in 1787, she was trying to become “the first of a new genus”. She moved to London and, assisted by the liberal publisher Joseph Johnson, found a place to live and work to support herself. She learned French and German and translated texts, most notably Of the Importance of Religious Opinions by Jacques Necker and Elements of Morality, for the Use of Children by Christian Gotthilf Salzmann. She also wrote reviews, primarily of novels, for Johnson’s periodical, the Analytical Review. Wollstonecraft’s intellectual universe expanded during this time, not only from the reading that she did for her reviews but also from the company she kept: she attended Johnson’s famous dinners and met such luminaries as the radical pamphleteer Thomas Paine and the philosopher William Godwin. The first time Godwin and Wollstonecraft met, they were both disappointed in each other. Godwin had come to hear Paine, but Wollstonecraft assailed him all night long, disagreeing with him on nearly every subject. Johnson himself, however, became much more than a friend; she described him in her letters as a father and a brother.

While in London, Wollstonecraft pursued a relationship with the artist Henry Fuseli, even though he was already married. She was, she wrote, enraptured by his genius, “the grandeur of his soul, that quickness of comprehension, and lovely sympathy”. She proposed a platonic living arrangement with Fuseli and his wife, but Fuseli’s wife was appalled, and he broke off the relationship with Wollstonecraft. After Fuseli’s rejection, Wollstonecraft decided to travel to France to escape the humiliation of the incident, and to participate in the revolutionary events that she had just celebrated in her recent Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790). She had written the Rights of Men in response to Edmund Burke’s conservative critique of the French Revolution in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) and it made her famous overnight. She was compared with such leading lights as the theologian and controversialist Joseph Priestley and Paine, whose Rights of Man (1791) would prove to be the most popular of the responses to Burke. She pursued the ideas she had outlined in Rights of Men in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), her most famous and influential work.

Wollstonecraft left for Paris in December 1792 and arrived about a month before Louis XVI was guillotined. France was in turmoil. She sought out other British visitors such as Helen Maria Williams and joined the circle of expatriates then in the city. Having just written the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft was determined to put her ideas to the test, and in the stimulating intellectual atmosphere of the French revolution she attempted her most experimental romantic attachment yet: she met and fell passionately in love with Gilbert Imlay, an American adventurer. Whether or not she was interested in marriage, he was not, and she appears to have fallen in love with an idealized portrait of the man. While Wollstonecraft had rejected the sexual component of relationships in the Rights of Woman, Imlay awakened her passions and her interest in sex. She soon became pregnant, and on 14 May 1794 she gave birth to her first child, Fanny, naming her after perhaps her closest friend. Wollstonecraft was overjoyed; she wrote to a friend: “My little Girl begins to suck so MANFULLY that her father reckons saucily on her writing the second part of the R[igh]ts of Woman” (emphasis hers). She continued to write avidly, despite not only her pregnancy and the burdens of being a new mother alone in a foreign country, but also the growing tumult of the French Revolution. While at Le Havre in northern France, she wrote a history of the early revolution, An Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution, which was published in London in December 1794.

As the political situation worsened, Britain declared war on France, placing all British subjects in France in considerable danger. To protect Wollstonecraft, Imlay registered her as his wife in 1793, even though they were not married. Some of her friends were not so lucky; many, like Thomas Paine, were arrested, and some were even guillotined. (Wollstonecraft’s sisters believed she had been imprisoned.) After she left France, she continued to refer to herself as “Mrs Imlay”, even to her sisters, in order to bestow legitimacy upon her child.

Imlay, unhappy with the domestic-minded and maternal Wollstonecraft, eventually left her. He promised that he would return to Le Havre where she went to give birth to her child, but his delays in writing to her and his long absences convinced Wollstonecraft that he had found another woman. Her letters to him are full of needy expostulations, explained by most critics as the expressions of a deeply depressed woman but by some as a result of her circumstances—alone with an infant in the middle of a revolution.

Seeking Imlay, Wollstonecraft returned to London in April 1795, but he rejected her. In May 1795 she attempted to commit suicide, probably with laudanum, but Imlay saved her life (although it is unclear how).

In a last attempt to win back Imlay, she embarked upon some business negotiations for him in Scandinavia, trying to recoup some of his losses. Wollstonecraft undertook this hazardous trip with only her young daughter and a maid. She recounted her travels and thoughts in letters to Imlay, many of which were eventually published as Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark in 1796. When she returned to England and came to the full realisation that her relationship with Imlay was over, she attempted suicide for the second time, leaving a note for Imlay:

Let my wrongs sleep with me! Soon, very soon, I shall be at peace. When you receive this, my burning head will be cold… I shall plunge into the Thames where there is least chance of my being snatched from the death I seek. God bless you! May you never know by experience what you have made me endure. Should your sensibility ever awake, remorse will find its way to your heart; and, in the midst of business and sensual pleasure, I shall appear before you, the victim of your deviation from rectitude.

She then went out on a rainy night and “to make her clothes heavy with water, she walked up and down about half an hour” before jumping into the River Thames, but a stranger saw her jump and rescued her. Wollstonecraft considered her suicide attempt deeply rational, writing after her rescue,

I have only to lament, that, when the bitterness of death was past, I was inhumanly brought back to life and misery. But a fixed determination is not to be baffled by disappointment; nor will I allow that to be a frantic attempt, which was one of the calmest acts of reason. In this respect, I am only accountable to myself. Did I care for what is termed reputation, it is by other circumstances that I should be dishonoured.

Gradually, Wollstonecraft returned to her literary life, becoming involved with Joseph Johnson’s circle again, in particular with Mary Hays, Elizabeth Inchbald, and Sarah Siddons through William Godwin. Godwin and Wollstonecraft’s unique courtship began slowly, but it eventually became a passionate love affair. Godwin had read her Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and later wrote that “If ever there was a book calculated to make a man in love with its author, this appears to me to be the book. She speaks of her sorrows, in a way that fills us with melancholy, and dissolves us in tenderness, at the same time that she displays a genius which commands all our admiration.” Once Wollstonecraft became pregnant, they decided to marry so that their child would be legitimate. Their marriage revealed the fact that Wollstonecraft had never been married to Imlay, and as a result she and Godwin lost many friends. Godwin received further criticism because he had advocated the abolition of marriage in his philosophical treatise Political Justice. After their marriage on 29 March 1797, they moved into two adjoining houses, known as The Polygon, so that they could both still retain their independence; they often communicated by letter. By all accounts, theirs was a happy and stable, though brief, relationship.

On 30 August 1797, Wollstonecraft gave birth to her second daughter, Mary (Shelley). Although the delivery seemed to go well initially, the placenta broke apart during the birth and became infected; puerperal (childbed) fever was a common and often fatal occurrence in the eighteenth century. After several days of agony, Wollstonecraft died of septicaemia on 10 September.

Godwin was devastated: he wrote to his friend Thomas Holcroft, “I firmly believe there does not exist her equal in the world. I know from experience we were formed to make each other happy. I have not the least expectation that I can now ever know happiness again.”

She was buried at Old Saint Pancras Churchyard, where her tombstone reads, “Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: Born 27 April 1759: Died 10 September 1797.” (In 1851, her remains were moved by her grandson Percy Florence Shelley to his family tomb in Bournemouth.)

Her monument in the churchyard lies to the north-east of the church. Her husband was buried with her on his death in 1836.

This is a complete list of Mary Wollstonecraft’s works;

  • Thoughts on the Education of Daughters: With Reflections on Female Conduct, in the More Important Duties of Life. London: Joseph Johnson, 1787.
  • Mary: A Fiction. London: Joseph Johnson, 1788.
  • Original Stories from Real Life: With Conversations Calculated to Regulate the Affections and Form the Mind to Truth and Goodness. London: Joseph Johnson, 1788.
  • Necker, Jacques. Of the Importance of Religious Opinions. Trans. Mary Wollstonecraft. London: Joseph Johnson, 1788.
  • The Female Reader: Or, Miscellaneous Pieces, in Prose and Verse; selected from the best writers, and disposed under proper heads; for the improvement of young women. By Mr. Cresswick, teacher of elocution [Mary Wollstonecraft]. To which is prefixed a preface, containing some hints on female education. London: Joseph Johnson, 1789.
  • de Cambon, Maria Geertruida van de Werken. Young Grandison. A Series of Letters from Young Persons to Their Friends. Trans. Mary Wollstonecraft. London: Joseph Johnson, 1790.
  • Salzmann, Christian Gotthilf. Elements of Morality, for the Use of Children; with an introductory address to parents. Trans. Mary Wollstonecraft. London: Joseph Johnson, 1790.
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Men, in a Letter to the Right Honourable Edmund Burke. London: Joseph Johnson, 1790.
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Moral and Political Subjects. London: Joseph Johnson, 1792.
  • “On the Prevailing Opinion of a Sexual Character in Women, with Strictures on Dr. Gregory’s Legacy to His Daughters”. New Annual Register (1792): 457–466. [From Rights of Woman]
  • An Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution; and the Effect It Has produced in Europe. London: Joseph Johnson, 1794.
  • Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. London: Joseph Johnson, 1796.
  • “On Poetry, and Our Relish for the Beauties of Nature”. Monthly Magazine (April 1797).
  • The Wrongs of Woman, or Maria. Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798.
  • “The Cave of Fancy”. Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798.
  • “Letter on the Present Character of the French Nation”. Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798.
  • “Fragment of Letters on the Management of Infants”. Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798.
  • “Lessons”. Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798.
  • “Hints”. Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798.
  • Contributions to the Analytical Review (1788–1797)

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Claire Clairmont
27 April 1798 – 19 March 1879

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Clara Mary Jane Clairmont

Claire Clairmont was born in 1798 in Brislington, near Bristol, the second child and only daughter of Mary Jane Vial Clairmont. Throughout her childhood she was known as “Jane”. In 2010 the identity of her father was discovered: John (later Sir John) Lethbridge of Sandhill Park, near Taunton, Somerset. Her mother had identified him as a “Charles Clairmont”, adopting the name Clairmont for herself and her children, to disguise their illegitimacy. It appears that the father of her first child, Charles, was Charles Abram Marc Gaulis, “a merchant and member of a prominent Swiss family, whom she met in Cadiz”.

When she was three years old, Claire (Jane) Clairmont acquired a stepfamily. In December 1801, her mother married a neighbour, William Godwin, the writer and philosopher. This brought the toddler two step-sisters: Godwin’s daughter, Mary (later Mary Shelley), only eight months older than she, and his adopted daughter, Fanny Imlay, a couple of years older. Both of them were the children of Mary Wollstonecraft, who had died some four years before, but whose presence continued to be felt in the household. The family was completed with the birth of a boy to Mary Jane and William, giving Claire Clairmont a younger brother.

All of the children were influenced by Godwin’s radical anarchist philosophical beliefs. Both parents were well-educated and they co-wrote children’s primers on Biblical and classical history. Godwin encouraged all of his children to read widely and give lectures from early childhood.

Mary Jane Godwin was a sharp-tongued woman who often quarrelled with Godwin and favoured her own children over her husband’s daughters. She contrived to send the volatile and emotionally intense Clairmont to boarding school for a time, thus providing her with more formal education than her stepsisters.

Clairmont, unlike Mary Shelley, was fluent in French when she was a teenager and later was credited with fluency in five different languages. However, the girls grew close and remained in contact for the rest of their lives.

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Lord Byron

At sixteen, Clairmont was a lively, voluptuous brunette with a good singing voice and a hunger for recognition. Her home life had become increasingly tense, as her stepfather William Godwin sank deeper into debt and her mother’s relations with Godwin’s daughter Mary became more strained. Clairmont aided her stepsister’s clandestine meetings with Percy Bysshe Shelley, who had professed a belief in free love and soon left his own wife and two small children to be with Mary. When Mary ran away with Shelley in July 1814, Clairmont went with them. Clairmont’s mother traced the group to an inn in Calais, but couldn’t make the girl go home with her. Godwin needed the financial assistance that the aristocratic Shelley could provide.

Clairmont remained in the Shelley household in their wanderings across Europe. The three young people traipsed across war-torn France, into Switzerland, fancying themselves like characters in a romantic novel, as Mary Shelley later recalled, but always reading widely, writing, and discussing the creative process. On the journey, Clairmont read Rousseau, Shakespeare, and the works of Mary’s mother, Mary Wollstonecraft.

“What shall poor Cordelia do – Love & be silent,” Clairmont wrote in her journal while reading King Lear. “Oh [th]is is true – Real Love will never [sh]ew itself to the eye of broad day – it courts the secret glades.” Clairmont’s emotions were so stirred by Cordelia that she had one of her “horrors,” a hysterical fit, Mary Shelley recorded in her own journal entry for the same day. Clairmont, who was surrounded by poets and writers, also made her own literary attempts. During the summer of 1814, she started a story called “The Idiot,” which has since been lost. In 1817-1818, she wrote a book which Percy Bysshe Shelley tried without success to have published. But though Claire lacked the literary talent of her stepsister and brother-in-law, she always longed to take centre stage. It was during this period that she changed her name from “Jane” to first “Clara” and finally the more romantic-sounding “Claire.”

Any romantic designs Clairmont might have had on Shelley were frustrated initially, but she did bring the Shelleys into contact with Lord Byron, with whom she entered into an affair before he left England in 1816 to live abroad. (A year marked by agricultural failures and widespread European famine, but also of significant literary advances as the Godwin-Shelley-Byron circle holed up indoors, 1816 would later be known as the “year without a summer”.) Clairmont had hopes of becoming a writer or an actress and wrote to Byron asking for “career advice” in March 1816, when she was almost eighteen. Byron was a director at the Drury Lane Theatre. Clairmont later followed up her letters with visits, sometimes with her stepsister Mary Godwin, whom she seemed to suggest Byron might also find attractive. “Do you know I cannot talk to you when I see you? I am so awkward and only feel inclined to take a little stool and sit at your feet,” Clairmont wrote to Byron. She “bombarded him with passionate daily communiques” telling him he need only accept “that which it has long been the passionate wish of my heart to give you”. She arranged for them to meet at a country inn. Byron, in a depressed state after the break-up of his marriage to Annabella Milbanke and scandal over his relationship with his half-sister Augusta Leigh, made it very clear to Clairmont before he left that she would not be a part of his life. Clairmont, on the other hand, was determined she would change his mind. She convinced Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley, that they should follow Byron to Switzerland, where they met him and John William Polidori (Byron’s personal physician) at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva. It is unknown whether or not Clairmont knew she was pregnant with Byron’s child at the commencement of the trip, but it soon became apparent to both her travelling companions and to Byron not long after their arrival at his door. At first he maintained his refusal of Clairmont’s companionship and allowed her to be in his presence only in the company of the Shelleys; later, they resumed their sexual relationship for a time in Switzerland. Clairmont and Mary Shelley also made fair copies of Byron’s work-in-progress, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, which he was in the process of writing.

Clairmont was the only lover, other than Caroline Lamb, whom Byron referred to as a “little fiend.” Confessing the affair in a letter to his half-sister Augusta Leigh, Byron wrote

What could I do? — a foolish girl — in spite of all I could say or do — would come after me — or rather went before me — for I found her here … I could not exactly play the Stoic with a woman — who had scrambled eight hundred miles to unphilosophize me.”

He referred to her also in the following manner, in a letter to Douglas Kinnaird (20 January 1817):
“[Claire Clairmont] You know–& I believe saw once that odd-headed girl—who introduced herself to me shortly before I left England—but you do not know—that I found her with Shelley and her sister at Geneva—I never loved her nor pretended to love her—but a man is a man–& if a girl of eighteen comes prancing to you at all hours of the night—there is but one way—the suite of all this is that she was with child–& returned to England to assist in peopling that desolate island…This comes of “putting it about” (as Jackson calls it) & be dammed to it—and thus people come into the world.”

Clairmont was to say later that her relationship with Byron had given her only a few minutes of pleasure, but a lifetime of trouble.

The group left Byron in Switzerland at the end of the summer and returned to England. Clairmont took up residence in Bath and in January 1817 she gave birth to a daughter, Alba, whose name was eventually changed to Allegra. Throughout the pregnancy, Clairmont had written long letters to Byron, pleading for his attention and a promise to care for her and the baby, sometimes making fun of his friends, reminding him how much he had enjoyed making love to her, and sometimes threatening suicide. Byron, who by this time hated her, ignored the letters. The following year, Clairmont and the Shelleys left England and journeyed once more to Byron, who now resided in Italy. Clairmont felt that the future Byron could provide for their daughter would be greater than any she herself would be able to grant the child and, therefore, wished to deliver Allegra into his care.

Upon arriving in Italy, Clairmont was again refused by Byron. He arranged to have Allegra delivered to his house in Venice and agreed to raise the child on the condition that Clairmont keep her distance from him. Clairmont reluctantly gave Allegra over to Byron.

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Percy Bysshe Shelley

Clairmont may have been sexually involved with Percy Bysshe Shelley at different periods, though Clairmont’s biographers, Gittings and Manton, find no hard evidence. Their friend Thomas Jefferson Hogg joked about “Shelley and his two wives,” Mary and Claire, a remark that Clairmont recorded in her own journal. Clairmont was also entirely in sympathy, more so than Mary, with Shelley’s theories about free love, communal living, and the right of a woman to choose her own lovers and initiate sexual contact outside marriage. She seemed to conceive of love as a “triangle” and enjoyed being the third. She had also formed a close friendship with Shelley, who called her “my sweet child” and inspired and fed off his work. Mary Shelley’s early journals record several times when Clairmont and Shelley shared visions of Gothic horror and let their imaginings take flight, stirring each others’ emotions to the point of hysteria and nightmares. In October 1814, Shelley deliberately frightened Clairmont by assuming a particularly sinister and horrifying facial expression. “How horribly you look … Take your eyes off!” she cried. She was put to bed after yet another of her “horrors.” Percy Bysshe Shelley described her expression to Mary Shelley as “distorted most unnaturally by horrible dismay”. In the autumn of 1814 Clairmont and Shelley also discussed forming “an association of philosophical people” and Clairmont’s conception of an idealized community in which women were the ones in charge.

Shelley’s poem “To Constantia, Singing” is thought to be about her:

Constantia turn!
In thy dark eyes a power like light doth lie
Even though the sounds which were thy voice, which burn
Between thy lips, are laid to sleep:
Within thy breath, and on thy hair
Like odour, it is yet,
And from thy touch like fire doth leap.
Even while I write, my burning cheeks are wet
Alas, that the torn heart can bleed, but not forget!

Mary Shelley revised this poem, completely altering the first two stanzas, when she included it in a posthumous collection of Shelley’s works published in 1824.< In Shelley’s “Epipsychidion,” some scholars believe that he is addressing Clairmont as his

Comet beautiful and fierce
Who drew the heart of this frail Universe
Towards thine own; till, wrecked in that convulsion
Alternating attraction and repulsion
Thine went astray and that was rent in twain.

At the time Percy Shelley wrote the poem, in Pisa, Clairmont was living in Florence, and the lines may reveal how much he missed her.

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Mary Shelley

It has occasionally been suggested that Clairmont was also the mother of a daughter fathered by Percy Shelley. The possibility goes back to the accusation by Shelley’s servants, Elise and Paolo Foggi, that Clairmont gave birth to Percy Shelley’s baby during a stay in Naples, where, on 27 February 1819, Percy Shelley registered a baby named Elena Adelaide Shelley as having been born on 27 December 1818. The registrar recorded her as the daughter of Percy Shelley and “Maria” or “Marina Padurin” (possibly an Italian mispronunciation of “Mary Godwin”), and she was baptized the same day as the lawfully begotten child of Percy Shelley and Mary Godwin. It is, however, almost impossible that Mary Shelley was the mother, and this has given rise to several theories, including that the child was indeed Clairmont’s. Claire herself had ascended Mount Vesuvius, carried on a palanquin, on 16 December 1818, only nine days before the date given for the birth of Elena. It may be significant, however, that she was taken ill at about the same time—according to Mary Shelley’s journal she was ill on 27 December—and that her journal of June 1818 to early March 1819 has been lost. In a letter to Isabella Hoppner of 10 August 1821, Mary Shelley, however, stated emphatically that “Claire had no child”. She also insisted:

I am perfectly convinced in my own mind that Shelley never had an improper connexion [sic] with Claire … we lived in lodgings where I had momentary entrance into every room and such a thing could not have passed unknown to me … I do remember that Claire did keep to her bed there for two days—but I attended on her—I saw the physician—her illness was one that she had been accustomed to for years—and the same remedies were employed as I had before ministered to her in England.

The infant Elena was placed with foster parents and later died on 10 June 1820. Byron believed the rumors about Elena and used them as one more reason not to let Clairmont influence Allegra.

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Clara Allegra Byron

Clairmont was granted only a few brief visits with her daughter after surrendering her to Byron. When Byron arranged to place her in a Capuchin convent in Bagnacavallo, Italy, Clairmont was outraged. In 1821, she wrote Byron a letter accusing him of breaking his promise that their daughter would never be apart from one of her parents. She felt that the physical conditions in convents were unhealthy and the education provided was poor and was responsible for “the state of ignorance & profligacy of Italian women, all pupils of Convents. They are bad wives & most unnatural mothers, licentious & ignorant they are the dishonour & unhappiness of society … This step will procure to you an innumerable addition of enemies & of blame.” By March 1822 it had been two years since she had seen her daughter. She plotted to kidnap Allegra from the convent and asked Shelley to forge a letter of permission from Byron. Shelley refused her request. Byron’s seemingly callous treatment of the child was further vilified when Allegra died there at age five from a fever some scholars identify as typhus and others speculate was a malarial-type fever. Clairmont held Byron entirely responsible for the loss of their daughter and hated him for the rest of her life. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s death followed only two months later.

Shortly after Clairmont had introduced Shelley to Byron she met Edward John Trelawny, who was to play a major role in the short remaining lives of both poets. After Shelley’s death, Trelawny sent her love letters from Florence pleading with her to marry him, but she was not interested. Still, she remained in contact with him the rest of her long life. Clairmont wrote to Mary Shelley; “He [Trelawny] likes a turbid and troubled life; I a quiet one; he is full of fine feeling and has no principles; I am full of fine principles but never had a feeling (in my life).”

Devastated after Shelley’s death, Mary returned to England. She paid for Clairmont to travel to her brother’s home in Vienna where she stayed for a year, before relocating to Russia, where she worked as a governess from 1825 to 1828. The people she worked for treated her almost as a member of the family. Still, what Clairmont longed for most of all was privacy and peace and quiet, as she complained in letters to Mary Shelley.

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Edward John Trelawny

Two Russian men she met commented on her general disdain for the male sex; irritated by their assumption that since she was always falling in love, she would return their affections if they flirted with her, Clairmont joked in a letter to Mary Shelley that perhaps she should fall in love with both of them at once and prove them wrong. She returned to England in 1828, but remained there only a short while before departing for Dresden, where she was employed as a companion and housekeeper. Scholar Bradford A. Booth suggested in 1938 that Clairmont, driven by a need for money, might have been the true author of most of “The Pole,” an 1830 short story that appeared in the magazine The Court Assembly and Belle Assemblée as by “The Author of Frankenstein” Unlike Mary Shelley, Clairmont was familiar with the Polish used in the story. At one point, she thought of writing a book about the dangers that might result from “erroneous opinions” about the relations between men and women, using examples from the lives of Shelley and Byron. She did not make many literary attempts, as she explained to her friend Jane Williams:

But in our family, if you cannot write an epic or novel, that by its originality knocks all other novels on the head, you are a despicable creature, not worth acknowledging.

Clairmont returned to England in 1836 and worked as a music teacher. She cared for her mother when she was dying. In 1841, after Mary Jane Godwin’s death, Clairmont moved to Pisa, where she lived with Lady Margaret Mount Cashell, an old pupil of Mary Wollstonecraft. She lived in Paris for a time in the 1840s. Percy Bysshe Shelley had left her twelve thousand pounds in his will, which she finally received in 1844.

She carried on a sometimes turbulent, bitter correspondence with her stepsister Mary Shelley until she died in 1851. She converted to Catholicism, despite having hated the religion earlier in her life. She moved to Florence in 1870 and lived there in an expatriate colony with her niece, Paulina. Clairmont also clung to memorabilia of Percy Bysshe Shelley. The Aspern Papers by Henry James is based on the narrator’s attempts to gain ownership of these items. She died in Florence on 19 March 1879, at the age of eighty. Clairmont outlived all the members of Shelley’s Circle, except Trelawny and Jane Williams.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir William Lawrence 1st Baronet
16 July 1783 – London, 5 July 1867

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William Lawrence

Lawrence was born in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, the son of the town’s chief surgeon and physician. His father’s side of the family were descended from the Fettiplace family. His younger brother was one of the founding members of the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester. At 15 he was apprenticed to, and lived with, John Abernethy (FRS 1796) for 5 years. He married Louisa Senior (1803–1855), the daughter of a Mayfair haberdasher, who built up social fame through horticulture. Their son, Sir Trevor Lawrence, was for many years President of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Lawrence had a long and successful career as a surgeon. He reached the top of his profession, and just before his death the Queen rewarded him with a baronetcy (see Lawrence baronets). He had for many years declined such honours, and family tradition was that he finally accepted to help his son’s courtship of an aristocratic young woman (which did not succeed). Lawrence suffered an attack of apoplexy whilst descending the stairs at the College of Surgeons and died on 5 July 1867 at his house, 18 Whitehall Place, London.

Said to be a brilliant scholar, Lawrence was the translator of several anatomical works written in Latin, and was fully conversant with the latest research on the continent. He had good looks and a charming manner, and was a fine lecturer. His quality as a surgeon was never questioned. Lawrence helped the radical campaigner Thomas Wakley found the Lancet journal, and was prominent at mass meetings for medical reform in 1826. Elected to the Council of the RCS in 1828, he became its President in 1846, and again in 1855.

During Lawrence’s surgical career he held the posts of Professor of Anatomy and Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons (1815–1922); Surgeon to the hospitals of Bridewell and Bethlem, and to the London Infirmary for Diseases of the Eye; Demonstrator of Anatomy, then Assistant Surgeon, later Surgeon, St Bartholomew’s Hospital (1824–1865). Later in his career, he was appointed Surgeon Extraordinary, later Serjeant Surgeon, to the Queen. His specialty was ophthalmology, although he practised in and lectured and wrote on all branches of surgery. Pugin and Queen Victoria were among his patients with eye problems.

Shelley and his second wife Mary Shelley consulted him on a variety of ailments from 1814. Mary’s novel Frankenstein might have been inspired by the vitalist controversy between Lawrence and Abernethy, and “Lawrence could have guided the couple’s reading in the physical sciences”.

Despite reaching the height of his profession, with the outstanding quality of his surgical work, and his excellent textbooks, Lawrence is mostly remembered today for an extraordinary period in his early career which brought him fame and notoriety, and led him to the brink of ruin.

At the age of 30, in 1813, Lawrence was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1815 he was appointed Professor of Anatomy and Surgery by the College of Surgeons. His lectures started in 1816, and the set was published the same year. The book was immediately attacked by Abernethy and others for materialism, and for undermining the moral welfare of the people. One of the issues between Lawrence and his critics concerned the origin of thoughts and consciousness. For Lawrence, as for ourselves, mental processes were a function of the brain. Abernethy and others thought differently: they explained thoughts as the product of vital acts of an immaterial kind. Abernethy also published his lectures, which contained his support for John Hunter’s vitalism, and his objections to Lawrence’s materialism.

In subsequent years Lawrence vigorously contradicted his critics until, in 1819, he published a second book, known by its short title of the Natural history of man. The book caused a storm of disapproval from conservative and clerical quarters for its supposed atheism, and within the medical profession because he advocated a materialist rather than vitalist approach to human life. He was linked by his critics with such other ‘revolutionaries’ as Thomas Paine and Lord Byron. It was “the first great scientific issue that widely seized the public imagination in Britain, a premonition of the debate over Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, exactly forty years later”.

Hostility from the established Church of England was guaranteed. “A vicious review in the Tory Quarterly Review execrated his materialist explanation of man and mind”; the Lord Chancellor, in the Court of Chancery (1822), ruled his lectures blasphemous, on the grounds that the book contradicted Holy Scripture (the Bible). This destroyed the book’s copyright. Lawrence was also repudiated by his own teacher, Abernethy, with whom he had already had a controversy about John Hunter’s teachings. There were supporters, such as Richard Carlile and Thomas Forster, and “The Monthly Magazine”, in which Lawrence was compared to Galileo. However, faced with persecution, perhaps prosecution, and certainly ruin through the loss of surgical patients, Lawrence withdrew the book. The time had not yet arrived when a science which dealt with man as a species could be conducted without interference from the religious authorities.

It is interesting that the Court of Chancery was acting, here, in its most ancient role, that of a court of conscience. This entailed the moral law applied to prevent peril to the soul of the wrongdoer through mortal sin. The remedy was given to the plaintiff (the Crown, in this case) to look after the wrongdoer’s soul; the benefit to the plaintiff was only incidental. This is also the explanation for specific performance, which compels the sinner to put matters right. The whole conception is mediæval in origin.

It is difficult to find a present-day parallel. The withholding of copyright, though only an indirect financial penalty, was both an official act and a hostile signal. We do not seem to have a word for this kind of indirect pressure, though Suppression of dissent comes closer than censorship. Perhaps the modern ‘naming and shaming’ comes closest. The importance of respectability, reputation and public standing were critical in this case, as so often in traditional societies.

After repudiating his book, Lawrence returned to respectability, but not without regrets. He wrote in 1830 to William Hone, who was acquitted of libel in 1817, explaining his expediency and commending Hone’s “much greater courage in these matters”.

He continued to espouse radical ideas and, led by the famous radical campaigner Thomas Wakley, Lawrence was part of the small group which launched The Lancet, and wrote material for it. Lawrence wrote pungent editorials, and chaired the public meetings in 1826 at the Freemasons’ Tavern. He was also co-owner of the Aldersgate Private Medical Academy, with Frederick Tyrrell.

Meetings for members of the College, were attended by about 1200 people. The meetings were called to protest against the way surgeons abused their privileges to set student fees and control appointments.
In his opening speech Lawrence criticised the by-laws of the College of Surgeons for preventing all but a few teachers in London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen from issuing certificates of attendance at preparatory lectures. He pointed out that Aberdeen and Glasgow had no cadavers for dissection, without which anatomy could not be properly taught.

A proposed change in the regulations of the College of Surgeons would soon cut the ground from under the private summer schools, since diplomas taken in the summer were not to be recognised.

“It would appear from the new regulations that sound knowledge was the sort acquired in the winter, when the hospital lecturers delivered their courses, while unsound knowledge was imparted in the summer when only the private schools could provide the instruction”. Lawrence in his opening speech, Freemason’s Tavern, 1826.

Lawrence concluded by protesting against the exclusion of the great provincial teachers from giving recognised certificates.

However, gradually Lawrence conformed more to the style of the College of Surgeons, and was elected to their Council in 1828. This somewhat wounded Wakley, who complained to Lawrence, and made some remarks in the Lancet. But, true to form, Wakley soon saw Lawrence’s rise in the College as providing him with an inside track into the working of the institution he was hoping to reform. For some years Lawrence hunted with the Lancet and ran with the College. From the inside, Lawrence was able to help forward several of the much-needed reforms espoused by Wakley. The College of Surgeons was at last reformed, to some extent at least, by a new charter in 1843.

This episode marks Lawrence’s return to respectability; in fact, Lawrence succeeded Abernethy as the ‘dictator’ of Bart’s.

His need for respectability and worldly success might have been influenced by his marriage in 1828, at the age of 45, to the 25-year-old socially ambitious Louisa Senior.

At any rate, from then on Lawrence’s career went ever forward. He never looked back: he became President of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Serjeant-Surgeon to Queen Victoria. Before he died she made him a baronet. “Never again [did] he venture to express his views on the processes of evolution, on the past or the future of man.” He did, however, warn the young T.H. Huxley – in vain, it must be said – not to broach the dangerous topic of the evolution of man.

In 1844 Carl Gustav Carus, the physiologist and painter, made “a visit to Mr Lawrence, author of a work on the “Physiology of Man” which had interested me much some years ago, but which had rendered the author obnoxious to the clergy… He appears to have allowed himself to be frightened by this, and is now merely a practising surgeon, who keeps his Sunday in the old English fashion, and has let physiology and psychology alone for the present. I found him a rather dry, but honest man”. Looking back in 1860 on his controversies with Abernethy, Lawrence wrote of “events which though important at the time of occurrence have long ceased to occupy my thoughts”.

In 1828, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The careful anonymity in which the Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation was published in 1844, and the very great caution shown by Darwin in publishing his own evolutionary ideas, can be seen in the context of the need to avoid a direct conflict with the religious establishment. In 1838 Darwin referred in his “C” transmutation notebook to a copy of Lawrence’s “Lectures on physiology, zoology, and the natural history of man”, and historians have speculated that he brooded about the implied consequences of publishing his own ideas.

In Lawrence’s day the impact of laws on sedition and blasphemy were even more threatening than they were in Darwin’s time. Darwin referred to Lawrence (1819) six times in his Descent of man (1871).
Lawrence’s Natural history of man contained some remarkable anticipations of later thought, but was ruthlessly suppressed. To this day, many historical accounts of evolutionary ideas do not mention Lawrence’s contribution. He is omitted, for example, from many of the Darwin biographies, from some evolution textbooks, essay collections, and even from accounts of pre-Darwinian science and religion.

Although the only idea of interest which Darwin found in Lawrence was that of sexual selection in man, the influence on Alfred Russel Wallace, was more positive. Wallace “found in Lawrence a possible mechanism of organic change, that of spontaneous variation leading to the formation of new species”.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Harrison Ainsworth
4 February 1805 – 3 January 1882

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William Harrison Ainsworth

Ainsworth was born on 4 February 1805 to Thomas Ainsworth, a prominent Manchester lawyer, and Ann (Harrison) Ainsworth, the daughter of the Unitarian minister at Manchester Cross Street Chapel, the Rev. Ralph Harrison, in the family house at 21 King Street, Manchester. On 4 October 1806, Ainsworth’s brother, Thomas Gilbert Ainsworth, was born. Although the family home was eventually destroyed, it was a three-storey Georgian home in a well to do community. The area influenced Ainsworth with its historical and romantic atmosphere, which existed until the community was later replaced by commercial buildings. Besides the community, Ainsworth read romantic works as a child and enjoyed stories dealing with either adventure or supernatural themes. Of these, Dick Turpin was a favourite of Ainsworth. During his childhood, he adopted Jacobean ideas and held Tory ideas in addition to his Jacobite sympathies, even though his community was strict Whig and Nonconformist. During this time, Ainsworth began to write prolifically.

The Ainsworth family moved to Smedly Lane, north of Manchester in Cheetham Hill, during 1811. They kept the old residence in addition to the new, but resided in the new home most of the time. The surrounding hilly country was covered in woods, which allowed Ainsworth and his brother to act out various stories. When not playing, Ainsworth was tutored by his uncle, William Harrison. In March 1817, he was enrolled at the Manchester Grammar School, which was described in his novel Mervyn Clitheroe. The work emphasised that his classical education was of good quality but was reinforced with strict discipline and corporal punishment. Ainsworth was a strong student and was popular among his fellow students. Ainsworth’s school days were mixed; his time within the school and with his family was calm even though there were struggles within the Manchester community, the Peterloo Massacre taking place in 1819. Ainsworth was connected to the event because his uncles joined in protest at the incident, but Ainsworth was able to avoid most of the political after-effects. During the time, he was able to pursue his own literary interests and even created his own little theatre within the family home at King Street. He, along with his friends and brother, created and acted in many plays throughout 1820.

During 1820, Ainsworth began to publish many of his works under the name “Thomas Hall”. The first work, a play called The Rivals, was published on 5 March 1821 in Arliss’s Pocket Magazine. Throughout 1821, the magazine printed 17 other works of Ainsworth’s under the name “Thomas Hall”, “H A” or “W A”. The genre and forms of the work greatly varied, with one being a claim to have found plays of a 17th-century playwright “William Aynesworthe”, which ended up being his own works. This trick was later exposed. In December 1821, Ainsworth submitted his play Venice, or the Fall of the Foscaris to The Edinburgh Magazine. They printed large excerpts from the play before praising Ainsworth as a playwright as someone that rivalled even George Gordon Byron. During this time, Ainsworth was also contributing works to The European Magazine in addition to the other magazines, and they published many of his early stories. Eventually, he left the Manchester Grammar School in 1822 while constantly contributing to magazines.

After leaving school, Ainsworth began to study for law and worked under Alexander Kay. The two did not get along, and Ainsworth was accused of being lazy. Although Ainsworth did not want to pursue a legal career, his father pushed him into the field. Instead of working, Ainsworth spent his time reading literature at his home and various libraries, including the Chetham Library. He continued to work as an attorney in Manchester and spent his time when not working or reading at the John Shaw’s Club. By the end of 1822, Ainsworth was writing for The London Magazine, which allowed him to become close to Charles Lamb, to whom Ainsworth sent poetry for Lamb’s response. After receiving a favourable response for one set of works, Ainsworth had them published by John Arliss as Poems by Cheviot Ticheburn. He travelled some during 1822, and visited his childhood friend James Crossley in Edinburgh during August. While there, Crossley introduced Ainsworth to William Blackwood, the owner of Blackwood’s Magazine, and, through Blackwood, was introduced to many Scottish writers.

Besides Crossley, another close friend to Ainsworth was John Aston, a clerk who worked in his father’s legal firm. In 1823, Ainsworth and Crossley began to write many works together, including the first novel Sir John Chiverton. Ainsworth wrote to Thomas Campbell, editor of The New Monthly Magazine, about publishing the work: but Campbell lost the letter. At the request of Ainsworth, Crossley travelled to London to meet Campbell and discuss the matter before visiting in November. Although the novel was not yet published, in December 1823, Ainsworth was able to get G. and W. Whittaker to publish a collection of his stories as December Tales. During 1824, Ainsworth set about producing his own magazine, The Boeotian, which was first published on 20 March but ended after its sixth issue on 24 April.

Ainsworth’s father died on 20 June 1824 and Ainsworth became a senior in the law firm and began to focus on his legal studies. To this end he left for London at the end of 1824 to study under Jacob Phillips, a barrister at King’s Bench Walk. Ainsworth lived at Devereux Court, a place that was favoured by Augustine writers. During his stay, he visited Lamb, but felt let down by the real Lamb. Ainsworth attended Lamb’s circle, and met many individuals including Henry Crabb Robinson and Mary Shelley. During the summer of 1825, Ainsworth returned on a trip to Manchester in order to meet Crossley before travelling to the Isle of Man. He continued to write, and a collection of his poems called The Works of Cheviot Tichburn, with the types of John Leigh was published. He also had two works published in The Literary Souvenir, a magazine published by John Ebers.

On 4 February 1826, Ainsworth came of age and on 8 February was made a solicitor of the Court of King’s Bench. During this time, he befriended Ebers, who also owned the Opera House, Haymarket. Ainsworth would constantly visit shows at the house, and he fell in love with Ebers’s daughter Fanny during his visits. The relationship with the Ebers family continued, and John published a pamphlet of Ainsworth’s called Considerations on the best means of affording Immediate Relief to the Operative Classes in the Manufacturing Districts. The work, addressed to Robert Peel, discussed the economic situation in Manchester along with the rest of Britain. By June, Ainsworth left politics and focused on poetry with the publication of Letters from Cokney Lands. While these were printed he continued to work on his novel Sir John Chiverton and sought to have it published.

The novel was published by Ebers in July 1826. Ebers became interested in Ainsworth’s novel early on and started to add discussions about it in The Literary Souvenir in order to promote the work. Although the work was jointly written and sometimes claimed by Aston as solely his, many of the reviews described the novel as Ainsworth’s alone. The novel also brought Ainsworth to the attention of historical novelist Walter Scott, who later wrote about the work in various articles; the two later met in 1828. During that year, J. G. Lockhartt published Scott’s private journals and instigated the notion that the novel was an imitation of Scott. Sir John Chiverton is neither a true historical novel nor is it a gothic novel. It was also seen by Ainsworth as an incomplete work and he later ignored it when creating his bibliography. The novel does serve as a precursor to Ainsworth’s first major novel, Rookwood.

Ainsworth’s relationship with the Ebers family grew, and he married Fanny on 11 October 1826 with little warning to his family or friends. Ebers promised to pay a dowry of 300 pounds, but the funds were never given and this caused a strain in the relationship between Ainsworth and his father-in-law. Ainsworth continued in Ebers’s circle and attended many social events. He was encouraged by Ebers to sell his partnership in the Ainsworth law firm along with starting a publishing business. Ainsworth followed this advice, and the business had early success. In 1827, Fanny gave birth to a girl who took her name. Soon after, Ebers went bankrupt and Ainsworth lost a large sum as a consequence. Ainsworth published a few popular works, including The French Cook, the annual magazine Mayfair, and some others. By 1829, Ebers took over Ainsworth’s publishing business, and Fanny gave birth to another daughter, Emily, soon after. Ainsworth gave up on publishing and resumed working in law. When a third daughter, Anne, was born in 1830, Ainsworth’s family began to feel financially strained. Ainsworth returned to writing and he contributed to Fraser’s Magazine, but it is uncertain how many works were actually his. However, he was working on his novel Rookwood.

By 1829, Ainsworth was neither a lawyer nor a publisher; indeed he did not have any employment at all. He longed for his youthful days in Manchester and pondered writing another novel. By the summer, he had begun to travel. It was during this time that he began to develop the idea of Rookwood, and began searching for information on the subject. While researching for the novel in 1830, Ainsworth was living at Kensal Lodge. He worked on some theatrical pieces and spent the rest of his time working in the legal profession. He soon became friends with William Sergison, and the two travelled to Italy and Switzerland during that summer. During their travels, they visited the tomb of Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats, along with witnessing other notable scenes in the lives of the British Romantic poets. Sergison was also the owner of a residence in Sussex, upon which Ainsworth drew in his novel. After the two returned to London, Ainsworth began working for Fraser’s Magazine, which was launched in 1830. The group included many famous literary figures of the day, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, Thomas Carlyle, James Hogg and William Makepeace Thackeray. It was not until a visit to Chesterfield towards the end of 1831 that he was fully inspired to begin writing the novel.

Although he began writing the novel, Ainsworth suffered from more of his father-in-law’s financial problems and was unable to resume work on it until 1833. During the autumn of that year he managed to complete large portions of the novel while staying in Sussex, near Sergison’s home. The novel was published in April 1834 by Richard Bentley and contained illustrations by George Cruikshank. After working five years in the legal profession, Ainsworth gave it up and dedicated himself to writing. Rookwood garnered wide critical and financial success, and pleased his associates at Fraser’s Magazine. He started to dress as a dandy, and he was introduced to the Salon of Margaret Power, Countess of Blessington. Her Salon was a group of men and literary women, and would include many others but many in London believed that Blessington had a damaged reputation. However, this did not stop Ainsworth from meeting many famous British authors from the Salon. While part of her circle, he wrote for her collection of stories called The Book of Beauty, published in 1835. Ainsworth continued in various literary circles, but his wife and daughters did not; he stayed in Kensal Lodge while they lived with Ebers. During this time, Ainsworth met Charles Dickens and introduced the young writer to the publisher Macrone and to George Cruikshank. Ainsworth also introduced Dickens to John Forster at Kensal Lodge, initiating a close friendship between the two.

From 1835 until 1838, Ainsworth and Dickens were close friends and often travelled together. Rookwood was published in multiple editions, with a fourth edition in 1836 including illustrations by Cruikshank, which started the working relationship between the two. Ainsworth began writing another novel in 1835. Called Crichton, he devoted much of his time to it to the point of not having time for many of his literary friends. Its publication was temporarily delayed while Ainsworth was searching for an illustrator, with Thackeray being a possible choice. However, Ainsworth felt the illustrations were unsatisfactory, so he switched to Daniel Maclise, who was also later dropped. Coinciding with the search for an illustrator and hurrying to complete the novel, Ainsworth was asked to write for the magazine The Lions of London, but could not find the time to work on both projects and so attempted to finish the novel. The situation changed after Macrone, the original intended publisher, died. Ainsworth turned to Bentley as a publisher. Ainsworth eventually published his third novel in 1837. A fifth edition of Rookwood appeared in 1837, and its success encouraged Ainsworth to work on another novel about a famous outlaw, including the story of Jack Sheppard.

In 1839, Ainsworth was working on his next novel. Jack Sheppard was serially published in Bentley’s Miscellany from January 1839 until February 1840 while Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist ran in the magazine. A controversy developed over the Newgate novels, and Dickens became distant from Ainsworth over the controversy. Soon after, Dickens retired from the magazine as its editor and made way for Ainsworth to replace him at the end of 1839. Jack Sheppard was published in a three volume edition by Bentley in October 1839, and 8 different theatrical versions of the story were staged in autumn 1839. Ainsworth followed Jack Sheppard with two novels: Guy Fawkes and The Tower of London. Both ran through 1840, and Ainsworth celebrated the conclusion of The Tower of London with a large dinner party to celebrate the works.

With the 1840 novels finished, Ainsworth began to write Old St. Paul’s, A Tale of the Plague and the Fire. The work ran in The Sunday Times from 3 January 1841 to 26 December 1841, which was an achievement as he became one of the first writers to have a work appear in a national paper in such a form. His next works, Windsor Castle and The Miser’s Daughter, appeared in 1842. The first mention of Windsor Castle comes in a letter to Crossley, 17 November 1841, in which Ainsworth admits to writing a novel about Windsor Castle and the events surrounding Henry VIII’s first and second marriages. The Miser’s Daughter was published first, starting with the creation of the Ainsworth’s Magazine, an independent project that Ainsworth started after leaving Bentley’s Miscellany. To create the magazine, Ainsworth joined up with Cruikshank who would serve as the illustrator. Cruikshank moved his efforts from his own magazine, The Omnibus to the new magazine, and an advertisement for it appeared in December 1841 saying that the first issue would be published on 29 January 1842. The opening of the magazine was welcomed by contemporary members of the press, which only increased as the magazine proved to be successful. Ainsworth’s Magazine marked the height of his career.

Ainsworth hoped to start publishing Windsor Castle in his magazine by April, but he was delayed when his mother died on 15 March 1842. John Forster wrote to Ainsworth to offer assistance in writing the novel, but there is no evidence that Ainsworth accepted. The work was soon finished and started appearing in the magazine by July 1842, where it ran until June 1843. George Cruikshank, illustrator for The Miser’s Daughter, took over as illustrator for Windsor Castle after the first one finished its run. A play version of The Miser’s Daughter, by Edward Stirling, appeared in October 1842, with another version by T. P. Taylor in November. During this time, Ainsworth had many well-known contributors to his magazine, including the wife of Robert Southey, Robert Bell, William Maginn in a posthumous publication, and others. By the end of 1843, Ainsworth sold his stake in the Ainsworth’s Magazine to John Mortimer while staying as the editor. The next work that Ainsworth included in his magazine was Saint James’s or the Court of Queen Anne, An Historical Romance, which ran from January 1844 until December 1844. The work was illustrated by George Cruikshank, which marks the last time that Ainsworth and Cruikshank collaborated on a novel.

In 1844, Ainsworth helped in the building of the monument to Walter Scott in Edinburgh. He spent his year visiting many people, including members of the British nobility. The popularity of his magazine decreased in the year due to a lack of quality works except for a series by Leigh Hunt, A Jar of Honey from Mount Hybla. Even Ainsworth’s own work, St James’s, was damaged because it was written in haste. During this time, Ainsworth began one of his best novels, Auriol, but it was never finished. It was published in part between 1844–1845 as Revelations of London. Hablot Browne, using the name “Phiz”, illustrated the work and became the main illustrator for the magazine. The novel was being produced until Ainsworth and Mortimer fought in early 1845, and Ainsworth resigned as editor. Soon after, Ainsworth bought The New Monthly Magazine and started asking contributors to the Ainsworth’s Magazine to join him at the new periodical. Ainsworth issued an advertisement saying that there would be contributors of “high rank”, which caused Thackeray to attack Ainsworth in Punch for favouring the nobility. However, Thackeray later contributed to the magazine along with others including Hunt, E V Keanley, G P R James, Horace Smith, and Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Ainsworth reprinted many of his own works in the magazine and his own portrait, the latter provoking a mock portrait of the back of Ainsworth’s head in Punch as the only angle that Ainsworth had not yet published for the public.

In 1845, two of Ainsworth’s friends and contributors died, Laman Blanchard and Richard Barham. Later in the year, Ainsworth was able to regain control over the Ainsworth’s Magazine and continued to republish many of his earlier works. He spent much of his time recruiting contributors to the two magazines, and published a new work in 1847, James the Second but claimed only to be the “editor” of the work. By 1847, he was able to purchase the copyright of many of his earlier works in order to reissue them. During this time, he was working on what would be his best novel, The Lancashire Witches. By the end of 1847, the plan of the novel was finished and the work was to be published in The Sunday Times.

In April 1872, a version of The Miser’s Daughter, called Hilda, was produced for the Adelphi Theatre by Andrew Halliday. On 6 April 1872, Cruikshank submitted a letter to The Times, claiming that he was upset about his name being left out of the credits for the play. Additionally, he claimed that the idea for the novel came from himself and not from Ainsworth. This provoked a controversy between the two.

His first success as a writer came with Rookwood in 1834, which features Dick Turpin as its leading character. In 1839 he published another novel featuring a highwayman, Jack Sheppard. From 1840 to 1842 he edited Bentley’s Miscellany, from 1842 to 1853, Ainsworth’s Magazine and subsequently The New Monthly Magazine.

His Lancashire novels cover altogether 400 years and include The Lancashire Witches, 1848, Mervyn Clitheroe, 1857, and The Leaguer of Lathom. Jack Sheppard, Guy Fawkes, 1841, Old St Paul’s, 1841, Windsor Castle, 1843, and The Lancashire Witches are regarded as his most successful novels. He was very popular in his lifetime and his novels sold in large numbers, but his reputation has not lasted well.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Henry Weekes
14 January 1807 – 1877

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Henry Weekes

Weekes was born at Canterbury, Kent, to Capon Weekes, a banker’s clerk, and his wife, Mary Pearson. He attended the King’s School of his home town.

His younger brother was the artist, William Weekes. Of his own five children, Henry Weekes and Herbert William Weekes were both genre painters known for their animal studies, and Frederick Weekes was an artist and expert on medieval costume and design. A further son was John Ernest Weekes.

Retiring in May 1877, Weekes died of heart disease soon afterwards. His date and place of death are variously given as 28 May 1877 in Pimlico, London and 28 June 1877 in Ramsgate, Kent.

Weekes was apprenticed to William Behnes in London (1822–7), entering the Royal Academy Schools in 1823, where he won a silver medal for sculpture in 1826. He became an assistant to the well-known portrait sculptor, Sir Francis Chantrey, in 1827, remaining with him until Chantrey’s death in 1841.

His early commissions were from his home town of Canterbury, and included busts of Stephen Lushington, MP for Canterbury and governor of Madras, and his father-in-law George Harris, Baron Harris of Seringapatam and Mysore for the Canterbury Philosophical Society. This led to a series of Indian commissions including works for St George’s Cathedral, Madras (now Chennai). In 1838, he was the first sculptor to execute a bust of Queen Victoria, being commissioned by the queen as a gift for her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. His sensitive depiction of the young queen established a reputation for portraiture.

On Chantrey’s death, Weekes took over his studio and, at Chantrey’s request, completed his unfinished works, most notably an equestrian bronze of the Duke of Wellington for the Royal Exchange. His subsequent career flourished; one of the most successful British sculptors of the mid-Victorian period, he left nearly £30,000 at his death. Despite the considerable success he enjoyed during his lifetime, his reputation was not long-lasting, and the rise of the New Sculpture shortly after his death led to his works being neglected.

An associate of the Royal Academy from 1851, he was elected a Royal Academician in 1863. In 1851, he won a gold medal from the Royal Society of Arts for an essay on the Great Exhibition. He was the academy’s professor of sculpture from 1868 until 1876.

Weekes exhibited 124 works at the Royal Academy between 1828 and his death, with over a hundred being portraits. He wrote in 1852 that the objective of portraiture was “to give the eye permanently that which no history or biography will be able hereafter thoroughly to convey to the imagination.” His best works achieve this aim, combining emotional impact with accurate portraiture and exemplary technique. A contemporary reviewer praised his work for its “truth of character and delicacy of expression.”

Apart from the 1838 bust of Queen Victoria, his first major works were statues of Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley for George Gilbert Scott’s Martyrs’ Memorial in Oxford, which he completed under Chantrey’s direction in 1841. Another early commission of an historical figure was a seated statue of Francis Bacon, which he executed for Trinity College, Cambridge in 1845.

Originally strongly influenced by Chantrey, Weekes developed a more individual style towards the end of the 1840s, introducing naturalistic detailing into his neo-classical works. Weekes was, however, against what he considered excessive realism, as exemplified by his contemporary Carlo Marochetti; he always opposed the colouring of sculpture, instead applying, for example, deep undercutting.

Two funerary monuments exemplify Weekes’ style from this period, and are considered his finest works. That of 1849 to Samuel Whitbread and Lady Elizabeth Whitbread, in Cardington, Bedfordshire, is executed in high relief. It depicts the couple kneeling in a pose that echoes Chantrey’s monument of 1835 to Reginald Heber in St Paul’s Cathedral, except that Lady Elizabeth leans against her husband’s shoulder with evident affection.

His marble monument to Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1853/4) was commissioned by their son, Sir Percy Shelley, and his wife after the death of Mary Shelley. Unlike the later Shelley memorial by Onslow Ford, Weekes has chosen to include the figure of Mary Shelley. The pose echoes Michelangelo’s Pietà, with the poet cradled by an idealised figure of his mourning wife. Weekes, however, depicts not a heroic nude in the neo-classical tradition but a bloodless corpse, and realistic details, including seaweed wrapped around his arm, recall the particulars of Shelley’s death by drowning in Italy. The monument was the subject of contemporary critical acclaim, but St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth, where Mary Shelley was buried, refused to take the work, and it was installed instead in Christchurch Priory.

Unlike Chantrey, Weekes executed a few ideal figures from 1850 onwards. The Suppliant (1850), his earliest work in this genre, secured his election as an associate of the Royal Academy. Resting after a Run, also known as Girl with the Hoop (1850/1), depicts the daughter of Frederick J. Reed in an idealised picture of childhood. Like the Shelley monument, his popular work The Young Naturalist (1854), showing a young girl examining nature at the seaside, juxtaposes realism with idealism, with a child in an 1850s bathing suit clutching a starfish in a pose reminiscent of the crouching Venus and Venus Pudica. Other works in this genre include Sardanapalus (1861), from Lord Byron’s verse tragedy on the Assyrian king, and Luna (1866), depicting a girl with the moon as a shield.

He also continued his early success with realistic historical figures, at that time very fashionable, with a series of works including John Hunter, after a portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, for the Royal College of Surgeons in London (1864); William Harvey, with a heart resting in his right hand, for the University Museum of Natural History in Oxford (1864); Charles II, accompanied by a spaniel, for the Palace of Westminster (1869; now in the Old Bailey); and Sir Joshua Reynolds for a garden designed by James Knowles in London’s Leicester Square (1874).

His most ambitious later work is the allegorical work Manufactures (1864–70), one of four marble groups depicting the industrial arts, for the London Albert Memorial by George Gilbert Scott. Although Weekes was not on Queen Victoria’s original list of sculptors, being selected to work on the project only after John Gibson declined to participate, his group occupies the preferable south side of the finished monument. A central female figure holds an hourglass, symbolising the critical nature of time to industry, while an ironworker stands at his anvil and a potter and weaver offer their wares.

In his role as professor of sculpture to the Academy, Weekes delivered a series of eighteen lectures which were published posthumously as Lectures on Art, with a biographical introduction by his son, John Ernest Weekes. In addition to conventional topics such as composition, beauty, style, taste, idealism versus realism, portraiture and Greek sculpture, Weekes devoted three lectures of the series to Sir Joshua Reynolds, and one to John Gibson and his mentors, William Behnes and Sir Francis Chantrey. He advised students to become “thinking men”, but also advocated a practical approach to learning, “with the modelling tool in hand, and the clay to operate upon”.

His gold-medal-winning essay was also published in 1852. Described in a contemporary review as “thoroughly practical”, it includes an exposition of the technical aspects of casting in bronze and carving in marble.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Mary Shelley
August 30 1797-February 1 1851

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Born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin in Somers Town, London. She was he second child of Mary Wollstonecraft and the first child of William Godwin. Wollstonecraft died ten days after her daughter’s birth. Godwin now raised his daughter and Fanny Imlay, Wollstonecraft’s first daughter. A year after the birth of Mary, Godwin published a novel, Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, he thought be a tribute but it showed that Wollstonecraft had affairs and an illegitimate child and so was seen as shocking.

Mary’s earliest years were happy ones, Godwin though was deeply in debt. He married again in 1801 Mary Jane Clairmont. Godwin’s friend did not like her, but he was devoted to her and the marriage was a success. Mary Godwin (DWW-lots of Marys) did not like her stepmother. It is likely that Clairmont favored her own children over the children of Wollstonecraft.

Godwin and his second wife started a publishing business that sold children’s books. It did not turn a profit and Godwin went into debt again. In 1809 he was saved from debtors prison by Francis Place. During her childhood, Godwin tutored Mary. Through him she was to meet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and former US vice-president Aaron Burr. Mary thus received an unusual education. She did attend a boarding school at Ramsgate. In 1812 she went to stay with the radical William Baxter in Scotland. She enjoyed the experience and asked to stay on.

She met Percy Bysshe Shelley around this time and when she returned home from a second trip to the Baxters in 1814, Shelley was now estranged from his wife then and regularly visiting Mary. Shelley also said he would help Mary’s father get out of debt. But after months of promises, Shelly had to admit that he could not access his money until he inherited it, and so Godwin did not receive the aid he had been promised. This left Godwin feeling betrayed.

Mary and Percy met each other at Wollstonecraft’s grad and they fell in love. William Godwin disapproved, and tried to stop it. In July of 1814 Mary, Percy and Mary’s step-sister Claire Clairmont left for France. Percy left his pregnant wife behind. They made it to Switzerland, but lack of funds had them return to England in September.

Mary was pregnant and the trio moved into lodgings in London. Shelley was pursued by creditors and to dodge them would leave town on occasion. Shelley’s wife had born a son, and he loved the boy. But when she gave birth, it was premature and the baby girl died. She conceived again and later gave birth to a son named William.

In 1816 they all travelled to Lake Geneva to summer with Lord Byron. Byron had an affair with Clare Clairmont and had gotten her pregnant. It was the summer that she conceived the idea for Frankenstein. It became a full novel and was published in 1818. Returning to England, they all moved to Bath hoping to keep Claire’s pregnancy secret.

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But tragedy arrived. Fanny Imlay was unhappy, and killed herself, than 2 months later, so did Shelley’s wife Harriet. Harriets family wanted to keep his children, and lawyers advised he get married. Mary was pregnant again, so they did on December 30, 1816. The Godwins attended to the rift was healed. Shortly after Claire Clairmont gave birth to a daughter, the child of Byron. 1817 was not a great year, for Shelley was faced with debtor’s prison and left frequently to avoid his creditors. The court gave custody of his children from Harriet to another couple. In the end they left for Italy, with Claire Clairmont, and her daughter Allegra (Alba).

Claire now gave Allegra into Byron’s care, who would raise her as long as Claire had nothing more to do with her. The Shelley’s saw both their children die during this time, which affected Mary greatly. Then in 1819 Percy Florence, their fourth child was born. Scandal struck the trio when Shelley tried to adopt a child, but former servants claimed that it was the child of Claire’s possibly by Byron once again. This child died in June of 1820. Trouble with children seemed to follow. In 1822, Allegra had died and Mary miscarried another child. Then in July of 1822, Shelley was in his sailing boat and died.

She lived for a year in Genoa with Leigh Hunt and his family . Mary wanted to live by her pen, and in 1823 went home to England to live with her father. She got money from Sir Timothy Shelley, father of Percy, to support the child, Percy Florence. Sir Timothy refused to give her an adequate amount of money, and said he would cut her off if she published the biography of Shelley. (DWW-it was £250 which should have been very adequate, but Mary wanted to be extravagant even if circumstances were not allowing it.)

In 1824 Mary moved to Kentish Town to be near Jane Williams (Whom Percy may have been in love with during the marriage) and now Mary helped with others who were working on the material and lives of Byron and Shelley. In 1827 she helped friends who were a lesbian couple to leave England for France. When she visited them, she contracted smallpox. She recovered but had lost her beauty.

From 1827 to 1840 she was an editor and writer. She also championed Percy’s writing through her own work and elsewhere. By 1837 it was well known. She was now getting significant money to edit Shelley’s works for publication. During these years she had romantic partners but refused to marry. She continued to mother Percy Florence. She moved to Harrow on the Hill so when Percy Florence attended school, he could lodge at home. Percy Florence went on to Trinity College, Cambridge but did not show signs of being brilliant.

On 1844 Sir Timothy Shelley died and Percy Florence inherited. But the estate was less than they had hoped. Then in the 1840s three different people tried to blackmail her. In 1848 Percy Florence married happily. It also seems that in 1839 Mary began to have headaches which were the result of a brain tumor. She died at age 53 in 1851 at the family home in Chester Square.

This is a small selection of her many literary works. (DWW-She did a lot more than Frankenstein!)

  • History of Six Weeks’ Tour through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland, with Letters Descriptive of a Sail round the Lake of Geneva, and of the Glaciers of Chamouni (1817)
  • Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)
  • Mathilda (1819)
  • Valperga; or, The Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca (1823)
  • Posthumous Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1824)
  • The Last Man (1826)
  • The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck (1830)
  • Lodore (1835)
  • Falkner (1837)
  • The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1839)
  • Contributions to Lives of the Most Eminent Literary and Scientific Men (1835–39), part of Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopaedia
  • Rambles in Germany and Italy in 1840, 1842, and 1843 (1844)

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III George IV Georgiana Cavendish
William IV Lady Hester Stanhope Lady Caroline Lamb
Princess Charlotte Queen Charlotte Charles James Fox
Queen Adelaide Dorothea Jordan Jane Austen
Maria Fitzherbert Lord Byron John Keats
Princess Caroline Percy Bysshe Shelley Cassandra Austen
Edmund Kean Thomas Clarkson Sir John Moore
John Burgoyne William Wilberforce Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Sarah Siddons Josiah Wedgwood Emma Hamilton
Hannah More John Phillip Kemble John Jervis, Earl St. Vincent
Ann Hatton Stephen Kemble Mary Robinson
Harriet Mellon Zachary Macaulay George Elphinstone
Thomas Babington George Romney Mary Moser
Ozias Humphry William Hayley Daniel Mendoza
Edward Pellew Angelica Kauffman Sir William Hamilton
David Garrick Pownoll Bastard Pellew Charles Arbuthnot
William Upcott William Huskisson Dominic Serres
Sir George Barlow Scrope Davies Charles Francis Greville
George Stubbs Fanny Kemble Thomas Warton
William Mason Thomas Troubridge Charles Stanhope
Robert Fulke Greville Gentleman John Jackson Ann Radcliffe
Edward ‘Golden Ball’ Hughes John Opie Adam Walker
John Ireland Henry Pierrepoint Robert Stephenson

There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:

Claire Clairmont

Francis Place

Fanny Imlay

William Godwin

Mary Wollstonecraft

General Sir Robert Arbuthnot

Harriet Fane Arbuthnot
Richard Harding Evans
Joseph Antonio Emidy
John Ireland
William Gifford
John Wolcot (Peter Pindar)
Amelia Opie
Sir Joseph Banks
Richard Porson
Eva Marie Veigel
Edward Gibbon
James Smithson
William Cowper
Richard Cumberland
Richard Cosway
Jacob Phillipp Hackert
Maria Foote
Sir George Warren
John Thomas Serres
Wellington (the Military man)
Horatio Nelson
William Vincent
Cuthbert Collingwood
Admiral Sir Graham Moore
Admiral Sir William Sydney Smith
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
Howe
Viscount Hood
Thomas Hope
Colin Mccaulay
Baroness de Calabrella
Thomas Babington Macaulay
Napoleon Bonaparte
Packenham
Admiral Israel Pellew
General Banastre Tarleton
Henry Paget
Francis Leggatt Chantrey
Stapleton Cotton
Sir Charles Grey
Thomas Picton
Constable
Thomas Lawrence
James Northcote
Cruikshank
Thomas Gainsborough
James Gillray
Sir Joshua Reynolds
George Stubbs
Joseph Priestley
William Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk 9th Duke of St. Albans
Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland
Horace Walpole
John Thomas ‘Antiquity’ Smith
Thomas Coutts
Rowlandson
William Blake
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Sir Marc Brunel
Marquis of Stafford George Leveson-Gower
George Stephenson
Nicholas Wood
George Parker Bidder
Edward Pease
Thomas Telford
Joseph Locke
Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy
Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton
Henry Herbert Southey
John Nash
Matthew Gregory Lewis
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Thomas Hope
William Beechey
Henry Holland
Sir Walter Scott
Lord Elgin
Henry Moyes
Jeffery Wyatville
Hester Thrale
William Windham
Madame de Stael
James Boswell
Edward Eliot
George Combe
William Harrison Ainsworth
Sir Harry Smith
Thomas Cochrane
Warren Hastings
Edmund Burke
Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond
Juana Maria de Los Dolores de Leon (Lady Smith)
Duke of Argyll, George William Campbell (1766-1839)
Lord Barrymore, Richard Barry (1769-1794)
Lord Bedford, Francis Russell (1765-1802)
Mr. G. Dawson Damer (1788-1856)
Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748-1811)
Lord Foley, Thomas Foley (1780-1833)
Colonel George Hanger (c.1751-1824)
Lord Hertford, Francis Seymour-Ingram (1743-1822)
Lord Yarmouth, Francis Charles Seymour-Ingram (1777-1842)
Earl of Jersey, George Bussey Villiers (1735-1805)
Sir John , John Lade (1759-1838)
Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard (1746-1815)
Duke of York , Frederick Augustus Hanover (1763-1827)
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1785 as Duc d’ Orleans (1747-1793)
Louis Philippe, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1793 as Duc d’ Orleans (1773-1850)
Captain John (Jack) Willett Payne (1752-1803)
Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas (1724-1810)
Duke of Rutland, John Henry Manners(1778-1857)
Lord Sefton, William Philip Molyneux (1772-1838)
Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour (1759-1801)
Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington Baronet (1771 – 1850)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1766-1835)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1792-1853)
Hon. Frederick Gerald aka “Poodle” Byng

The Dandy Club
        Beau Brummell
        William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley
        Henry Mildmay

Patronesses of Almacks
        Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
        Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
        Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
        Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
        Mrs. Drummond Burrell
        Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
        Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

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