In the preface to the 1931 edition of Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author relates how she came to write her masterpiece, first published in 1818. She was not yet twenty-one at the time.
Still in her teens when she met Percy Bysshe Shelley, the romantic poet, it was a liaison that would alter the course of her life. In the summer of 1814, seventeen-year-old Mary eloped to Italy with the already-married Shelley. She joined his literary circle, which included Lord Byron, and from there, the story unspools.
Here, in Mary Shelley’s own words, is how it came to pass that a sheltered young woman from England came to write one of the most haunting tales of all time, with a character that continues to grip the imagination: Read More→
Dear Literary Ladies,
So many creative people are afraid to share their work with the world because they can’t risk failing. What words of wisdom can you offer to those of us who are willing to take that risk, and to bear inevitable failures with as much grace as possible?
In the working-day life of a professional writer success or failure is very likely to sum up much the same at the end. I don’t mean that failure is as pleasant as success. I’ve known both. Success stimulates the glands, revivifies the spirits, feeds the ego, fills the purse.
Failure is a depressing thing to face. The critics rip your play to ribbons, audiences refuse to come to it; reviewers say your book is dull, or trite, readers will not buy it. You read these things, you hear them, you face them as you would face any misfortune, with as good grace as you can summon. Read More→