February 4th, 2011


Mary Shelley-icious

As a long-term fan of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's amazing writing, I'm fascinated by this. This oil painting, dated to 1843 and attributed to Richard Rothwell, surfaced in 1955 and only recently has been recognized as a "lost" portrait of Mary Shelley.


(Rothwell was also responsible for one of the most famous portraits of the author.)

This rediscovered painting is being shown for the first time as one of many artifacts in the Shelley's Ghost exhibition at the Bodleian Library, which is dedicated to Mary Shelley, her parents William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, and husband Percy Bysshe Shelley. If you can't make it to the Bodleian, there's an extensive website for Shelley's Ghost showing all of the exhibits, complete with detailed descriptions. The companion book to the exhibition is Shelley's Ghost: Reshaping the Image of a Literary Family by Stephen Hebron and Elizabeth C. Denlinger.

* Speaking of Mary Shelley, it looks like the March 17, 2011 National Theatre Live performance of the Danny Boyle-directed play Frankenstein that I mentioned here will be the one featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Victor Frankenstein (which was the combination I most wanted to see). I can't wait! Reports suggest that the alternate performance (with the lead roles switched) is also being taped for later airing, however, and I suspect I'll want to catch that one, as well. I'd love to hear spoilers if anyone happens to see it in London.

* In other news, Presenting Lenore is hosting a month-long celebration of dystopian literature, so be sure to check out her Dystopian February posts here.

"You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been."
- Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein