The Londonian daughter of the writer and political
journalist William Godwin, famous for his An Enquiry
Concerning Political Justice (1793), published her first
poem at the age of ten.
When she was sixteen,
she escaped to France and Switzerland with the poet Percy
Shelley, whom she married in 1816.
into the world then, on the shores of Lake
In 1818 the Shelleys left England for
Percy Shelley drowned in 1822 in the
Bay of La Spezia, and Mary returned to England suffering
from nervous breakdowns after his death and, later, the
loss of her daughter.
In England, she
devoted herself to the educationof her son, continuing her
career as a professional writer.