Catherine Nugent was the landlady with whom Percy Bysshe Shelley and his first wife Harriet resided during their short visit to Dublin in the spring of 1812. Both the Shelleys maintained a correspondence with her thereafter. The fact that Harriet, not Percy Shelley, informed Catherine Nugent of the rupture of their marriage suggests, perhaps, that of the two she felt the closer ties. Mary Shelley, however, never met Catherine Nugent, and there is no reference to her anywhere in her writings or in her husband's correspondence with her. Thus, the presence of the surname Nugent in this novel comes as something of a surprise that has never been explained.