Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Daughter Of Earth And Water: A Biography Of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley” as Want to Read:
Daughter Of Earth And Water: A Biography Of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Daughter Of Earth And Water: A Biography Of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  348 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
This remarkable biography follows the passionate relationship between Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Percy was a celebrated poet, while Mary Shelley terrified the world with her novel Frankenstein — and their marriage was marked by both tragedy and brilliance.
Kindle Edition
Published by Endeavour Press (first published January 1st 1973)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Daughter Of Earth And Water, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Daughter Of Earth And Water

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Clif Hostetler
Nov 25, 2016 Clif Hostetler rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly (1797–1851) is best known today as the author of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus . Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

At age seventeen Mary eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley who was already married to another woman. Mary was pregnant with Percy's child when they returned from their elopement (child did not survive a premature birth). This was considered scandalous by soci
Feb 06, 2016 Lilisa rated it it was amazing
A fascinating, well-written and absorbing biography of Mary Shelley, it’s equally about her famous husband Percy Bysshe Shelley and the unconventional lives they led -- for the times they lived in. The personal and financial challenges they faced or, quite frankly, brought upon themselves were incredible and it’s a wonder they survived despite the constant creditors at their door. Brilliant in her own right, Mary’s intellectual capacity was equal to or superior than her husband’s and she was a ...more
Mary Shelley is one of England’s beloved writers, whose famous work of Frankenstein has lived in popular culture since the day it was published and has never been out of print. However, aside that she wrote Frankenstein, and she married Percy Bysshe Shelley, I really did not know anything about her personal life. This fascinating biography not only recounts her fascinating life and her accomplishments, but it is she who helped make Percy Bysshe Shelley from a minor poet into a classic figure ...more
Apr 18, 2016 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I downloaded a copy of this biography of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley by Noel Gerson when I saw it advertised in an Endeavour Press e-mail newsletter last year. The book was first published in the 1970s and has now been re-released as an ebook. I thought it made an interesting companion to Glorious Apollo, the novel about Byron I read recently, as there are crossovers where Byron and the Shelley's lives intertwined. It is also perfect timing for me to read this book now as the Endeavour Press ...more
Oct 03, 2015 Terri rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulous biography of Mary Shelley. I read everything I can about her fiction and non fiction.. This is not your bland and boring biography . It is a page turning engrossing book. I was surprised to learn that Mary And Percy disapproved of Byron's behavior. i always thought it made no difference . this is a must read for Shelley fans
Jun 14, 2016 TheFountainPenDiva rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-boner
Definitely a must read.
I grabbed this slightly older book during my Kindle Unlimited trial. It was pleasant to read and predates the idea that Mary and Shelley were dishonest fakers in everything they wrote and everything they did. I confess I like this interpretation much better. An exceptional woman no matter how you look at her.
Cynthia Fischer
Oct 30, 2016 Cynthia Fischer rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and her life with Percy Shelley. Her intellect is amazing, and her ability to mature into a woman who is strong and proud in an era when women were thought frivolous, is empowering. This book is well-researched. I highly recommend this book
Jan 13, 2016 Nancy rated it it was amazing
In my mind Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley has always been eclipsed by her husband, the great Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The only work of hers I have read is "Frankenstein" and I was aware it was written as a kind of competition among the Shelley's circle to write a horror story. Consequently I am so glad that I came across this well written and well researched biography of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley since her story, in and of itself, is fascinating & inspiring. She was born of revered ...more
Nicole G.
Dec 30, 2015 Nicole G. rated it really liked it
I've read Frankenstein, and knew that Mary was married to Percy Shelley, whose poetry we studied in school. I also knew she was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, whose Vindication of the Rights of Women was a pioneering feminist work. Unfortunately, that's really all I knew about her.

This biography is pretty solid. What sore trials Mary had - growing up motherless, becoming involved with a married man, losing children, and the final blow, losing Shelley in a most preventable way. It's amazin
Oct 30, 2015 Oshun rated it really liked it
A well written and apparently well-researched book. A pleasure to read. It debunks much which I had absorbed of the history, real or apocryphal, concerning the group around Shelley and Byron. Mary Shelley, its subject, is a fascinating woman--so determined and focused while working under the burdens of hardship and heartbreak--who lived her life on her own terms in a man's world. Impressive. Now I want to do more reading to see if other historians of the subject agree with the parts of the book ...more
Frank Bridgland
Feb 25, 2016 Frank Bridgland rated it really liked it
Long but worth sticking with.

I wanted to know who the person was that wrote Frankenstein and lived with Shelley. This book tells you and does it clearly and with measured tread. Without her, we probably would not have a fraction of the knowledge or his poetry that we now have. Tragedy dogged her life but eventually, with her last son and her own efforts she more than survived. This is a darned good and informative read in which you also learn about Shelley, Byron and quite a few other characters
Jul 17, 2016 Sandeep rated it liked it
Very informative, but dull

3.5/5.0 : This was a very informative biography, but the writing style was a bit dull.

It provides a great window into life in England at the time of Mary Shelley's life and it was amazing to read about all the "rock stars" of English literature like Shelley, Keats, Byron, etc. who were contemporaries and well acquainted.

I would recommend this book.
Aug 04, 2007 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: interested in Mary Shelley's life and times
This biography of Mary Shelley is eye-opening I think, dispelling many of the popular myths about Mary Shelley and her life -- e.g., her and Percy Shelley's wild lifestyle. This biographer posits that, in spite of their forward-thinking worldviews, Mary and Percy were very conservative (very middle class) in their day-to-day lives, and in fact were highly critical of Lord Byron and his amoral exploits.
Karen Sweeney
Jan 22, 2016 Karen Sweeney rated it really liked it
Very Concise & Sympathetic

I enjoyed this biography of MWS. The author clearly loves her subject so there is very little that can be called negative in her assessment of Mary. It is very concise and just the right length for a valuable look at Mary's life without going in depth. I enjoyed the way the author described the softening over the years of Mary's views and the ultimate propriety of her behavior.
Jan 30, 2016 Jean rated it it was amazing
A Very Readable Bior

This biography of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley surprised me a bit with how much I enjoyed it. I knew some of the history of her mother so I took a chance that I might learn about Percy and Mary of whom I knew little. There is nothing dry about this biography and it seems to be written in a scholarly manner as well as an engaging manner. I'm very glad to have it in my library.
Amy Sherman
Mar 02, 2016 Amy Sherman rated it it was amazing
Well-written and absorbing

I enjoyed this account of Mary Shelly's life because of the author's style and organization. Through her writings and other documented material , Shelly's life is recreated and dramatized so that your interest remains and is piqued to the end. Highly recommend.
Jan 05, 2016 Arthur rated it it was amazing
Riveting and fascinating read

This is not only a book about a life, but it also is a book about an era. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley established herself as an author while she supported her husband and his writing, while dealing with pressures from family and society. Readers who are not literary-minded will be enthralled.
Chris Gregory
Feb 05, 2016 Chris Gregory rated it it was amazing
Excellent read

Set aside some time to read this story. Once you start it's difficult to put down. The author has produced an interesting multi-aspect biography. Shelley and her husband are multi-talented and they had interesting lives. The description of the development of Frankenstein is remarkable. I highly recommend this reading.
Apr 22, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I did not really have any expectations one way or another for this biography. I enjoyed it, although after scandalously running off with a married poet, she (and he) became very conventional. Still, she lead an interesting life and stayed true to Percy Shelly and to their son, and she was a worhty subject for a biography.
Jan 29, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it
I truly enjoyed this book. So informative. It has been awhile since I have read a biography and this was a great choice. I feel the author did good research and he brought Mary and Percy to life for me.
Jan 12, 2016 kate rated it really liked it
A cut above the average biography which tend to be a little dry. A great read about the woman who wrote Frankenstein and the poet Shelly her soul mate. She was an original thinker from a family of original thinkers and a woman way ahead of her time. Interesting read.
May 05, 2016 Cynthia rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Mary Shelley had an interesting life, affiliated with a lot of literary people and was probably the reason that her husband is so popular today. The book was interesting and although it seemed judgmental at times, the author did provide information about why the judgment was made.
Wendie Schneider
Aug 14, 2016 Wendie Schneider rated it liked it
Interesting read

I have always lived Shelley's poetry and wondered about his life with Mary. This book certainly demonstrates real love and devotion, not often seen among the celebrated.
Jan 02, 2016 Dyanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Fabulous biography. It is a well-researched and well-written book. Loved it. There are a few stiff syntactical moments, but the narrative pace and overall quality of the writing both deserve kudos.
Glenda  Barcklow
Dec 29, 2015 Glenda Barcklow rated it it was amazing
Fascinating glimpse of life in Victorian times

December 2015. Found reading this book to be very pleasurable. It moved along at a fast pace. I didn't want to put it c down.
Deborah Hall
Feb 28, 2016 Deborah Hall rated it really liked it
If you love liturature this book is filled with tales of the greats. Lord Byron, Trelawny, and many others were contemporaries of the Shelly's. She was definately an interesting character
Mar 10, 2016 Timothy rated it it was amazing

I've long been a fan of Percy Shelley so I wanted to know more about his wife Mary. This book gives great insight into the lives of both. Excellent very readable book.
Vivian C Stanton
Jan 02, 2016 Vivian C Stanton rated it it was amazing
Mary Shelley

It held my interest. It does sometimes amaze You the struggles that famous people have gone through financially and emotionally.
Kerryn Taylor
Jan 10, 2016 Kerryn Taylor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-books
A well written, well researched and extremely readable biography of Mary Shelley and her controversial relationship and marriage with Percy Bysse Shelley.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • London 1945: Life in the Debris of War
  • The Butterfly Groove: A Mother's Mystery, A Daughter's Journey
  • Devils on the Deep Blue Sea: The Dreams, Schemes, and Showdowns That Built America's Cruise-Ship Empires
  • AVIATRIX: First Woman Pilot for Hughes Airwest
  • Now Then Lad...: Tales Of A Country Bobby
  • Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs
  • Cotswolds Memoir: Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage
  • Winston S. Churchill: Never Despair, 1945–1965 (Volume VIII) (Churchill Biography Book 8)
  • Alice, The Enigma - A Biography of Queen Victoria's Daughter
  • Hard Road West: History and Geology along the Gold Rush Trail
  • Stories from a Teacher
  • The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I, Genius Of The Golden Age
  • Elsie: Adventures of an Arizona Schoolteacher 1913-1916
  • Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry
  • Land of the Burnt Thigh
  • Days on the Road: Crossing the Plains in 1865, The Diary of Sarah Raymond Herndon
  • Queen Victoria, From her Birth to the Death of the Prince Consort
  • Jay Walking (Pastime Pursuits #2)

Share This Book

“Marriage was a noble institution, she declared, provided the husband did not take unfair advantage of his superior legal position and the wife did not succumb to the pressures of society and become a nonentity.” 0 likes
“God and good angels guard us! surely this world, stored outwardly with shapes and influences of beauty and good, is peopled in its intellectual life by myriads of loving spirits that mould our thoughts to good, influence beneficially the course of events, and minister to the destiny of man. Whether the beloved dead make a portion of this company I dare not guess, but that such exist I feel — far off, when we are worldly, evil, selfish; drawing near and imparting joy and sympathy when we rise to noble thoughts and disinterested action. Such surely gather round one on such an evening, and make part of that atmosphere of love, so hushed, so soft, on which the soul reposes and is blest.  ” 0 likes
More quotes…