I lived principally in the country as a girl

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NOTES

I lived principally in the country as a girl

For whatever reason of self-presentation or nostalgia, Mary Shelley here magnifies her love of and accessibility to an untrammelled natural environment. Her Scottish experiences occupied less than two years of her early adolescence. Prior to that time she was brought up in Somers Town, in that day located on the edge of the London metropolis, where she could divide her interests between the countryside to the north, upon which her father's house looked out, and the attractions of the city. Godwin's house itself was anything but rural, maintaining an intensely urban and intellectually sophisticated ambience throughout Mary Shelley's youth. There, as a child, she came into contact with dozens of the principal luminaries of British culture at the beginning of the nineteenth century. One of these was Samuel Taylor, whom she heard recite "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," a poem of particular resonance for Frankenstein, where it is quoted twice—(see I:L2:6 and I:4:7)—and frequently functions allusively.