Nora Crook, a professor emerita at Anglia Ruskin University, has discovered a trove of 13 previously unknown letter written by Mary Shelley between 1831 and 1849. During that time, Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein in 1818, was suffering from a brain tumor near the end of that period, which is demonstrated by the change in her handwriting and the concerns voiced in the letters. The letters were written to Horace and Eliza Smith, who had been friends with Shelley’s husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, prior to his death.
The original hand-written manuscript to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, considered by some to be the first science fiction novel, will be on display at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford as part of the display Shelley’s Ghost: Reshaping the Image of a Literary Family, scheduled to run from December 3 through March 27. This is the first time the manuscript has been displayed publicly. After the exhibit closes in Oxford, it will move to the New York Public Library.