I Need To See This Film: Mary Shelley
The new Mary Shelley brings to life the story of the famed author. Shelley’s biography was just as tragic and as fantastical as the story for which she’s famed:Frankenstein. And although Shelley’s life would be marked by loss and heartbreak, she stands as feminist icon who fiercely fought for recognition for her work. She was challenged by Lord Byron to produce a ghost story, who believed that women couldn’t produce a work of horror. History would prove Shelley to be the victor of the competition; Frankenstein is one of the most beloved horror books of all time, and has been adapted into several films and inspired a clothing line.
Still, despite the book’s popularity, Shelley still had to fight for recognition of her work. She endured publishers who believed that her husband actually wrote the story. While he provided some editing work on the book, Frankenstein is, as Fanning’s Shelley declares in the trailer, “It is my story.” Shelley would be forced to publish the book anonymously. Her name was later added in a second edition printing.
Later in life, Shelley’s success allowed to her to perform quiet charitable acts for other women. Shelley lived by the principles of her mother until her death at age 53. She blazed trails for women in literature, and proved that imagination doesn’t have a gender. At the time, this idea was revolutionary. Writers of all stripes benefit today by her contributions to the field — through her fighting spirit, she was able to make some progress for women. “My choices made me who I am,” says Fanning in the trailer, “and I regret nothing.”