the daughter of two persons of distinguished literary celebrity

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NOTES

the daughter of two persons of distinguished literary celebrity

Although Mary Shelley publishes this revision of her novel pseudonymously, as by "The Author of The Last Man, Perkin Warbeck, &C. &C.," she writes as though she had signed her full name to the title page, speaking familiarly of her husband toward the end of the Introduction as "Shelley" (see I:Intro:7) and here casting her parents, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, as almost legendary, if historical, figures whom she need not bother to name. Constrained to keep the Shelley name out of the press by the meager allowance Sir Timothy Shelley had reluctantly settled upon his grandson, and thus remaining, as her opening paragraph indicates, "very averse to bringing [her]self forward in print" (see I:Intro:1), Mary Shelley nonetheless goes out of her way here to establish her major credentials as an artist and her strong claim to public notice. An appearance of modesty to cloak an unladylike presumption is a standard ploy of women writers at this time.