Margaret Walton Saville and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

face of a prisoner

The early nineteenth-century novel Frankenstein is formally structured as letters from Robert Walton to his sister Margaret Walton Saville. Walton’s sister’s name has the same initials and the same number of syllables at Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Names containing ville subsequently became a key to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s descriptions of Percy Bysshe Shelley within her novels.^ Within Frankenstein, Margaret Walton Saville as a name plausibly points to Percy Bysshe Shelley writing to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

Frankenstein, Prometheus Unbound, and The Cenci were authored from late 1816 through 1819. They all share Promethean themes from a third-personal standpoint. The preface to the 1818 edition of Frankenstein and the prefaces to Prometheus Unbound and The Cenci share a style and themes. Both Frankenstein and The Cenci were intended to be initially presented to the public anonymously. Apart from controversy over the author of Frankenstein, authorship in Frankenstein was plausibly a matter of playfulness between Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

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