Mary Shelley letters discovered in Essex archive | Herstory |

Professor finds cache of previously unpublished letters by author of Frankenstein, written between 1831 and 1849

...The letters date between 1831, nine years after the death of her poet husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, and 1849, when Mary Shelley was already unwell with the brain tumour that would kill her two years later, and show a woman who was skilled in charming favours from friends, bursting with pride in and concern for her teenage son – and not unconcerned with frivolities. A last-minute ticket to the coronation of William IV in 1831 necessitated a 3am visit from her hairdresser; she attended the event sporting a plumed headdress ("The whole thing was wondrously splendid – Diamonds & cloth of gold grew common to the eye.")

The later letters, written in an increasingly scrawled hand, are short and distracted, full of apologies for her failing memory and powers. To a number of them is still attached a blob of scarlet wax stamped with the author's own seal – one that was not previously known, according to Crook.

Via Ricardo Lourenço, bobbygw