The Complete Chronology

A Chronology of the Life of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

|1797 |1801 |1803 |1805 |1807 |1808 |1812 |1813 |1814 |1815 |1816 |
|1817 |1818 |1819 |1820 |1821 |1822 |1823 |1824 |1825 |1826 |1827 |
|1828 |1829 |1830 |1831 |1832 |1833 |1834 |1835 |1836 |1837 |1838 |
|1839 |1840 |1841 |1842 |1843 |1844 |1845 |1846 |1848 |1849 |1851 |
|Posthumous Dates|
1797 29 Mar Mary Wollstonecraft marries William Godwin in St. Pancras Church, London; Wollstonecraft has one daughter, Fanny (b. May 1794), by Gilbert Imlay. They live at 29, The Polygon, Somers Town. 
30 Aug Mary Wollstonecraft gives birth to Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin.
10 Sep Mary Wollstonecraft dies from puerperal fever.
1801  21 Dec William Godwin marries Mary Jane Vial (also known as Clairmont), who has two children: Charles and Jane (later called Claire)
1803  28 Mar Mary Jane Godwin gives birth to William Godwin, Jr. 
1805    William Godwin and Mary Jane Godwin open M. J. Godwin & Co. Juvenile Library.
1807   The Godwin family moves to the headquarters of M. J. Godwin & Co. at 4 Skinner Street, Holborn.
1808    M. J. Godwin & Co. publishes Mounseer Nongtongpaw; or the Discoveries of John Bull on a Trip to Paris, a poem to which MWS contributes.
1812  7 Jun MWS goes to Dundee, Scotland, to live with the family of William Baxter, a friend of William Godwin. There, she forms her first close friendship with the Baxter's youngest daughter, Isabel. 
10 Nov MWS and Christy Baxter return to London for a visit.
11 Nov MWS possibly meets P. B. Shelley when he and Harriet dine with the Godwins.
1813 3 Jun MWS and Christy Baxter return to the Baxter's home in Scotland.
1814  30 Mar MWS returns home to London. Isabel Baxter has become engaged to her former brother in law, 48-year-old David Booth. 
May MWS and PBS possibly meet for the second time.
28 Jul MWS and PBS elope to France, accompanied by Claire Clairmont. William Godwin refuses any communication with his daughter for the next two and a half years.
Jul-Aug The three take a six-week tour through France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland. While in Paris, they leave behind a box of papers. MWS will later suspect it to contain letters "George Byron" uses to blackmail her in 1845
13 Sep MWS, PBS, and Claire return from Switzerland to London.
27 Sep MWS, PBS, and Claire move to 5 Church Terrace, Pancras.
4 Oct MWS tries to contact Isabel Booth but is repudiated by David Booth. Possibly concerned over the illegality of his own marriage to his former sister-in-law, he refuses to let his wife see MWS. 
23 Oct-9 Nov PBS goes into hiding from his creditors; he and MWS live apart during this period. 
9 Nov MWS, PBS, and Claire move to 2 Nelson Square, Blackfriars Road.
14 Nov PBS introduces MWS to his Oxford friend, Thomas Jefferson Hogg. Shelley records in his journal that Hogg is "pleased with Mary."
30 Nov Charles Shelley born to PBS and Harriet Shelley, their second child.
1815  1 Jan T. J. Hogg, with Shelley's encouragement, declares his love to MWS. She reciprocates his affection, but not physically, due to her pregnancy. Shelley and Claire may also be conducting an affair over the next few months.
10 Jan  MWS, PBS, and Claire move to 4 Hans Place.
22 Feb MWS gives birth two months prematurely to daughter, Clara.
2 Mar MWS, PBS, and Claire move to 13 Arabella Road, Pimlico.
6 Mar MWS's premature daughter Clara dies.
Jun-Jul MWS and PBS travel through the south coast of Devonshire.
[4] Aug The couple moves to Bishopsgate, near the east entrance to Windsor Great Park. 
1816  24 Jan MWS gives birth to a son, William.
Apr Claire becomes Lord Byron's mistress; MWS meets Byron in London.
3 May MWS, PBS, their son William, and a pregnant Claire journey to Italy. Claire is pursuing Byron, who left England on 23 April. They are in Paris by 8 May, and arrive at the Hotel de Sécheron, Geneva, on 13 May.
27 May PBS meets Byron, who had recently arrived in Switzerland with his physician Dr. John W. Polidori. By June 1, MWS, PBS, Claire, and William move into Maison Chapuis.
10 Jun Byron rents the nearby Villa Diodati.
16-17 Jun MWS begins to write Frankenstein.
22-30 Jun Byron and Shelley undertake a boating tour of Lake Geneva.
21-27 Jul MWS, PBS, and Claire travel to Chamounix. MWS's description of this journey, as well as those Shelley made of his previous tour, provides material for Frankenstein
24 Jul MWS's journal entry reads "Write my story"; this is the first extant written reference to Frankenstein.
29 Aug MWS, PBS, William, and Claire leave Geneva and return to England, arriving in Portsmouth on 8 September. Over the next few months, MWS and the pregnant Claire remain in Bath, residing at Abbey Churchyard, while Shelley returns to London. 
9 Oct Fanny Imlay commits suicide by overdosing on laudanum.
15 Dec News reaches PBS that Harriet Shelley had committed suicide. She had been missing since 9 November, and her pregnant body was found in the Serpentine river on 10 December.
30 Dec MWS and PBS marry at St. Mildred's church, London; in urging this marriage, William Godwin abandons his long silence and reconciles with his daughter. The Shelleys live with the Hunts and the Godwins over the next month. 
1817 12 Jan Claire gives birth to her daughter by Byron. She initially names the child Alba, later changing it to Allegra at Byron's request. Since Claire remains secluded at Bath, she and the Shelleys are able to keep the child's existence a secret from almost everyone else, including the Godwins. 
2 - 8 Mar The Shelleys live with Peacock in Marlow. On March 18, they move into Albion House, Marlow, where Claire and Allegra join them a week later. 
27 Mar A Chancery suit denies PBS custody of his and Harriet's two children, Charles and Ianthe.
14 May MWS completes Frankenstein
2 Sep MWS gives birth to a daughter, Clara Everina.
[6] Nov History of a Six Weeks' Tour Through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland: With Letters Descriptive of a Sail round the Lake of Geneva, and of the Glaciers of Chamouni (London: T Hookham, Jun.; and C. and J. Ollier), written by MWS and PBS, is published anonymously. 
1818 1 Jan Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, and Jones) is published in three volumes. Both PBS's publisher, Charles Ollier, and Byron's publisher, John Murray, had declined to publish the novel.
Reviews of the novel. 
10 Feb After selling Albion House at the end of January, the Shelleys and Claire move to 119 Russell Street, London.
11 Mar The Shelleys, Claire, Allegra, and two servants leave London for Dover to undertake an Italian journey and arrive in Calais the next day. The party travels through France, staying in Lyons 21-25 March. They then travel to Italy and stay in Milan for three weeks in April
28 Apr Claire sends Allegra to Byron in Venice. Byron, who wishes to avoid Claire, only allows her to visit her daughter if she is accompanied by the Shelleys. 
7 May The Shelleys travel to Pisa, then to Leghorn on 9 May, where they stay at the Hotel di Malta. In Leghorn, MWS meets Maria Gisborne. 
11 Jun  The Shelleys and Claire move to Casa Bertini, Bagni di Lucca. 
14 Jun MWS writes Walter Scott, who had favorably reviewed Frankenstein for Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine but had conjectured that PBS wrote the book. She thanks him for his review and acknowledges herself as the novel's author.
17 Aug PBS and Claire travel to Venice in hopes of persuading Byron to relinquish Allegra. Byron refuses, but, believing MWS and the children to be with them, he permits the Shelleys and Claire to visit the girl at his villa in Este. On 31 August, at PBS's insistence, MWS and her children quickly travel to Este. They arrive on 5 September.
24 Sep Clara Everina dies in Venice from dysentery she had contracted during the hurried journey to Este. 
Sep-Oct The Shelleys and Claire remain at Byron's villa in Este.
5 Nov The Shelley party travels through Ferrara, Bologna, and Rome. After a week in Rome, they depart for Naples on 28 November, arriving on 1 December.
20 Dec In her journal, MWS enters "Correct Frankenstein," possibly correcting the copy that she presented to Mrs. Thomas, an Englishwoman she met in Genoa, by July 1823.
27 Dec An infant, registered on 27 February 1819 as "Elena Adelaide" is born in Naples. PBS and "Marina Padurin" are listed as the parents. The identity of this child is still a mystery. Some theories claim the girl was PBS's illegitimate child; other suggest that she was an infant he planned to adopt in order to replace Clara. The Shelleys leave Naples the next day. 
1819  5 Mar  The Shelleys and Claire travel to Rome, moving into the Palazzo Verospi on 7 March.
7 Jun  William Shelley dies from malaria and is buried in the Protestant Cemetery. The Shelleys leave Rome on 10 June. 
17 Jun The Shelleys move to Leghorn. On 24 June, they move to Villa Valsolvano, near Montenero.
Aug - Feb 1820 MWS writes Matilda, which she sends to Godwin in 1821. He does not attempt to get the work published, and it remains unpublished until 1959. 
2 Oct The Shelleys and Claire move to the Palazzo Marini, Via Valfonda, Florence. Claire leaves for Vienna on 10 November.
12 Nov MWS gives birth to a son, Percy Florence.
1820  26 Jan The Shelleys move to Tre Donzelle, Pisa.
Mar MWS begins writing a novel which she calls Castruccio, Prince of Lucca, although she had first concieved of the story's idea in Marlow. Godwin will later change its title to Valperga
Apr-May MWS writes her mythological dramas, Proserpine and Midas
Jun Paolo Foggi, the Shelley's former servant whom they had dismissed in January 1819, and who had married their servant Elise Duvillard, attempts to blackmail PBS over the mysterious Neapolitan child, Elena Adelaide. Although his attempts fail, he and Elise do succeed in turning the Hoppners, friends of Byron and the Shelleys, against the Shelleys by claiming that Elena's parents were PBS and Claire. On 10 June, Elena Adelaide dies. 
Jun-Oct The Shelleys move back to Bagni di Lucca on 15 June, then relocate to Casa Prinni, at the Bagni San Giuliano, also known as the Bagni di Pisa, on 5 August, and finally to Casa Galetti, Pisa on 29 October
21 Oct PBS's cousin, Thomas Medwin, visits the Shelleys in Pisa. 
Late Nov The Shelleys meet Emilia Viviani, the beautiful daughter of the governor of Pisa, confined to a convent until her marriage. PBS develops an infatuation and writes Epipsychidion for her. 
1821  19 Jan The Shelleys meet Edward and Jane Williams, a common-law couple, through Medwin. Edward Williams and Medwin had served in the army together in India. 
5 Mar The Shelleys move to Casa Aulla, Pisa.
8 May The Shelleys return to Bagni di San Giuliano. The Williamses move to Pugnano, four miles away.
Jul The first translation of Frankenstein is published in France: Frankenstein; ou le Prométhée Moderne (Paris: Corréard), translated by Jules Saladin.
End of Aug MWS finishes Valperga. She corrects and copies the novel through early December. 
25 Oct The Shelleys move to Tre Palazzi di Chiesa, Pisa 
1 Nov Byron arrives in Pisa with his mistress, Teresa Guiccioli.
1822  Jan After much wrangling with Ollier for an advance, the Shelleys send MWS's manuscript of Valperga to Godwin for publication, instructing him to keep the revenue from its sales. He delays publication, however, and it does not appear until 1823. 
14 Jan  Edward John Trelawny, a friend of the Williamses and Medwin, and an admirer of PBS and Byron, arrives in Pisa.
19 Apr Allegra Byron dies from typhus in a convent school.
30 Apr The Shelleys and Claire take a summer residence at Casa Magni, San Terenzo. The Williamses join them on 1 May. 
16 Jun MWS miscarries and almost dies from the resulting hemorrhaging.
1 Jul  PBS and Edward Williams sail to Leghorn in Shelley's boat, the Don Juan, to meet the Hunts. On 8 July, they return and, sometime during the voyage, drown in the Gulf of Spezia. Their bodies are found ten days later.
20 July MWS, Jane Williams, and Claire return to Pisa.
14 Aug  PBS's body is cremated at Viareggio. Williams' body is cremated the day before.
Sep  MWS and Jane Williams depart to Casa Negroto, Genoa on 11 September. On 17 September, Jane returns to London with a letter of introduction to Hogg. Claire leaves Pisa on 15 September, going to Florence and then to Vienna. 
Sep-Dec MWS transcribes cantos 10-12 of Byron's Don Juan. She also begins to transcribe PBS's poetry in preparation for a posthumous collection. 
1823  1 Jan "A Tale of the Passions" appears in the Liberal, II, 289-325.
21 Jan PBS's ashes are interred in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome. Attempts to bury PBS's remains with those of his son are thwarted when an adult skeleton is discovered in the child's grave. 
19 Feb Valperga: Or, the Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca (London: G and W.B. Whittaker) is published in three volumes. Reviews of the novel.
24 Feb Byron sends MWS a letter from Sir Timothy Shelley, PBS's father, who initially denies MWS support and insists that he will only provide for Percy Florence if MWS relinquishes custody of him.
[23] Apr "Madame D'Houtetot" appears in the Liberal, III, 67-83. 
Jul MWS composes her poem, "The Choice."
25 Jul MWS and Percy Florence leave Genoa for England, arriving on 25 August.
28 Jul Presumption; or The Fate of Frankenstein, a play by Richard Brinsley Peake, opens at the English Opera House for a run of 37 performances. MWS sees a production on 28 August. 
Reviews of the play. 
30 Jul "Giovanni Villani" appears in the Liberal, IV, 281-97.
11 Aug A second edition of Frankenstein (London: G. and W. B. Whittaker) is published in two volumes. The text is probably corrected by William Godwin, and the title page names "Mary W. Shelley" as the author.
18 Aug Frankenstein; or, the Demon of Switzerland, a play by Henry M. Milner, opens at the Royal Coberg Theatre for a run of eight performances. 
1 Sep Humgumption; or, Dr. Frankenstein and the Hobgoblin of Hoxton, opens at the Royal Coburg Theatre for a run of six performances.
Presumption and the Blue Demon opens at the Davis's Royal Amphitheater for a run of two performances. 
8 Sep MWS and Percy Florence move from the Godwin's residence to 14 Speldhurst Street, Brunswick Square. Also in September, she reconciles with Isabel Baxter Booth. 
20 Oct Another Piece of Presumption, by Richard Brinsley Peake, opens at the Adelphi Theatre for a run of nine performances.
27 Nov MWS receives an allowance of £100 per year for Percy Florence from Sir Timothy Shelley.
1824  Jan "Recollections of Italy" appears in the London Magazine, IX, 21-6.
Feb MWS begins writing The Last Man.
Mar "On Ghosts" appears in the London Magazine, IX, 253-56.
Apr "The Bride of Modern Italy" appears in the London Magazine, IX, 351-63.
19 Apr  Lord Byron dies in Greece. MWS sends a tribute to the London Magazine, but it is never published. 
Jun  Posthumous Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley (London: John and Henry L. Hunt), a volume of PBS's unpublished poems, is published. MWS edits the volume and writes a signed preface. On 23 June, MWS learns that a displeased Sir Timothy Shelley will halt Percy Florence's allowance until she both stops publication and promises not to publish any more of PBS's writings in Sir Timothy's lifetime.
21 Jun MWS and Percy Florence move to 5 Bartholomew Place, Kentish Town, near Jane Williams.
Aug Sir Timothy Shelley increases Percy Florence's allowance to £200. 
13 Dec Frank-in-Steam; or, The Modern Promise to Pay opens at the Olympic Theatre for a run of four performances. 
1825  Jan MWS begins her friendship with Mary Diana Dods, who writes under the pseudonym "David Lyndsay."
Feb MWS probably finished a first draft of The Last Man. By November, 1825, she is copying the manuscript.
25 Jun MWS refuses a marriage proposal from American actor, playwright, and manager John Howard Payne.
1826 23 Jan The Last Man(London: Henry Colburn), "By the Author of Frankenstein," is published in three volumes.
Reviews of the novel. 
Romantic Circles Electronic Edition of The Last Man (Ed. Steven E. Jones). 
10 Jun  Le Monstre et le magicien, by Jean Toussaint Merle and Antoine Nicolas Beraud, opens in Paris at the Théàtre de la Porte Saint-Martin for a run of 96 performances. A translation by James Kerr opens at the New Royal West London Theatre on 9 October for an estimated run of four performances. 
11 Jun "Defense of Velluti," a letter that MWS signs "Anglo Italicus," appears in the Examiner, no. 958, 372-41.
3 Jul The Man and The Monster; or The Fate of Frankenstein, by Henry M. Milner, opens at the Royal Coberg Theatre for a run of eight performances.
17 Jul MWS meets Thomas Moore and agrees to help him compose a biography of Lord Byron. She works on this project off and on over the next few years, and The Letters and Journals of Lord Byron: With Notices of His Life is published in 1830.
[5] Aug-3 Sep MWS spends a month at Brighton with Jane Williams.
14 Sep  Charles Bysshe Shelley, the son of PBS and Harriet Shelley, dies, making Percy Florence heir apparent to the baronetcy.
Oct "The English in Italy," MWS's review of Lord Normanby's The English in Italy, Continental Adventures, a Novel, and Anna Browmwell Jameson's Diary of an Ennuyee, appears in the Westminster Review, VI, 325-41.
Dec "A Visit to Brighton," inspired by MWS's August journey, appears in the London Magazine, n.s. VI, 460-66.
1827  Feb MWS establishes a friendship with Isabel, Julia, and Rosa Robinson during the first of many visits to the Robinson's Park Cottage in Paddington. Isabel Robinson will later "marry" Mary Diana Dods, who assumes the identity of "Sholto Douglas."
Spring Jane Williams and Thomas Hogg begin living as a married couple. Afterwards, she calls herself Jane Williams Hogg, even though she is still legally married to her first husband. 
May Sir Timothy increases Percy Florence's allowance to £250.
13 Jul MWS records in her journal her discovery of Jane Williams Hogg's disloyalty. Isabel Robinson had informed MWS of the slanderous stories Jane has been spreading that vilified MWS as a cold, unfeeling wife. MWS does not confront her until 11 February 1828. 
[24] Jul MWS and Percy Florence join Isabel Robinson and her illegitimate child in Sompting. They relocate to Arundel on 3 September, and Mary Diana Dods, now posing as Sholto Douglas, joins them. With the help of John Howard Payne, MWS assists the Douglases in getting the passports they need to elope to Paris.
26 Sep MWS writes in a letter to Godwin that she is writing each morning; the work is presumably The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck. She writes the novel over the next two years, soliciting information from Godwin, John Murray, Prosper Mérimée, Thomas Crofton Croker, and Sir Walter Scott. 
[25] Oct MWS returns to London and moves into 51 George Street, Portman Square.
1828  25 Mar Percy Florence enters Edward Slater's Gentlemen's Academy, Church Street, Kensington.
11 Apr MWS visits the Douglases in Paris. She contracts smallpox soon after her arrival. During her visit, she meets Prosper Mérimée and General Layfayette. 
26 May MWS returns to England, remaining in Dover and Hastings through July to recover from her smallpox. 
9 Aug MWS visits the Robinsons in Park Cottage, Paddington, remaining there throughout most of the year.
[Nov/Dec] Two of MWS's stories are published anonymously in the Keepsake for MDCCCXXIX: "The Sisters of Albano" (80-100) and "Ferdinando Eboli: A Tale" (195-218). 
E-text for Ferdinando Eboli (from The Last Man Romantic Circles Electronic Edition). 
[24] Dec  MWS moves to 4 Oxford Terrace, Edgewater Road; Claire Clairmont resides with her until April, 1829.
1829  Jan "Illyrian Poems--Feudal Scenes," MWS's review of Prosper Mérimée's La Guzla, ou Choir de Poesies Illyriques recueillies dans la Dalmatie, la Croatie et l'Herzegowine; and La Jacquerie; Feudal Scenes, followed by the Family of Carvajal, a Drama, is published in the Westminster Review, X, 71-81. 
13 May MWS moves to 33 Somerset Street, Portman Square.
1 Jun Sir Timothy increases Percy Florence's allowance to £300.
Jul  MWS's review, "Modern Italy," appears in the Westminster Review, II, 127-140.
Oct MWS's review, "Loves of the Poets," appears in the Westminster Review, XI, 472-77. 
Nov-Dec MWS copies and revises Perkin Warbeck.
[Nov/Dec] Three stories by "The Author of Frankenstein" appear in The Keepsake for MDCCCXXX: "The Mourner" (71-97), "The Evil Eye" (150-75), and "The False Rhyme" (265-68) 
E-texts for The Mourner and The False Rhyme (from The Last Man Romantic Circles Electronic Edition). 
Dec The Paris Galignani edition of The Poetical Works of Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats, a pirated work edited by Cyrus Redding and including biographical sketches of the poets, is published. MWS had provided Redding with information on PBS earlier that year.
1830  May MWS's review of William Godwin's Cloudesley appears in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, XXVIII, 711-16.
13 May The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck, A Romance (London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley) is published in three volumes. 
July MWS and Percy Florence spend two weeks at Southend.
Oct A review, believed to be by MWS, of Mérimée's 1572 Chronique du Temps de Charles IX appears in the Westminster Review, XIII, 495-502. 
[Nov/Dec]  Two stories by "The Author of Frankenstein" appear in The Keepsake for MDCCCXXXI : "Transformation" (18-39) and "The Swiss Peasant" (121-46). In addition, three poems in this volume have also been attributed to her, although only the first is signed "Mary W. Shelley": "Absence"(22), "Dirge" (85), and "A Night Scene" (147-48).
1831    MWS anonymously edits and arranges publication for Edward Trelawny's memoirs, Adventures of a Younger Son (London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley).
1 Apr William Godwin's novel Caleb Williams is reissued in a one- volume edition by Colburn and Bentley. MWS writes a biographical sketch, "Memoirs of William Godwin" (iii-xiii).
31 Oct The 1831 edition of Frankenstein (London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley) is published as part of Bentley's Standard Novels. the title page names "Mary W. Shelley" as the author. This one-volume version includes several revisions, although she claims, in a new Introduction, that they are "confined to such parts as are mere adjuncts to the story, leaving the core and substance of it untouched." 
[Nov/Dec]  "The Dream," a story by "The Author of Frankenstein," appears in The Keepsake for MDCCCXXXII (22-38).
[Nov/Dec] Proserpine, a Mythological Drama in Two Acts, which MWS had written in 1820, is published in The Winter's Wreath for 1832 (1-20).
1832  Jan MWS's review of James Fenimore Cooper's The Bravo appears in the Westminster Review, XVI 180-92. Because the journal refuses to publish her review of Edward Bulwer's Eugene Aram, she stops publishing her work in the Review.
[15] Jun MWS and Percy Florence spend three months in Sandgate, where they are joined by Trelawny and his daughter Julia. MWS and Percy Florence return to Somerset Street on 8 October. 
21 Jul-25 Aug Thomas Medwin publishes his "Memoirs of Shelley" in the Athenæum; several of the installments mention MWS. 
Aug/Sep "The Pole," a story written by Claire, edited by MWS, and erroneously attributed to "The Author of Frankenstein," appears in the August and September Court Magazine and Belle Assemblée
8 Sep William Godwin, Jr., MWS's half brother, dies of cholera. 
29 Sep Percy Florence enters boarding school at Harrow.
[Nov/Dec] MWS publishes a poem in The Keepsake for MDCCCXXXIII : "Stanzas" ("I must forget thy dark eyes' love fraught gaze") (52). The issue also contains two stories by "The Author of Frankenstein": "The Brother and Sister: An Italian Story" (105-41) and "The Invisible Girl" (210-27).
1833    "The Smuggler and His Family," by "Mrs. Shelley" appears in Original Compositions in Prose and Verse(27-53). 
May MWS moves to Harrow so Percy Florence can become a day-student and reduce the expense of his schooling.
[Nov/Dec] "The Mortal Immortal," by "The Author of Frankenstein," appears in The Keepsake for MDCCCXXXIV (71-87). 
Romantic Circles Electronic Edition of "The Mortal Immortal" (Ed. Michael Eberle-Sinatra) 
1834  [Jan]  Edward Moxon writes MWS to propose an edition of PBS's works. She responds on 22 January that when "family reasons" no longer hinder her, she plans to republish her late husband's poems, along with some letters and prose. She also states that she would not write a biographical sketch of PBS, but might wish to select a person to do so.
Apr The printer misplaces thirty-six pages from Volume 3 of Lodore. MWS works into early June rewriting them.
[Nov/Dec] "The Trial of Love," by "The Author of Frankenstein," appears in The Keepsake for MDCCCXXXV (70-86).
  "The Elder Son," by "Mrs. Shelley," appears in Heath's Book of Beauty. 1835 (83-123). 
1835  Feb  Lives of the Most Eminent Literary and Scientific Men of Italy, Spain, and Portugal, Vol 1 (of 3) (London: Longman, Orme, Brown [etc.]), is published as part of The Cabinet of Biography, Conducted by the Rev. Dionysius Lardner
7 Apr Lodore (London: Richard Bentley) is published in three volumes and attributed to "The Author of 'Frankenstein.'" 
[Oct]  Lives of the Most Eminent Literary and Scientific Men of Italy, Spain, and Portugal, Vol 2 (London: Longman, Orme, Brown [etc.]) is published.
[8] Nov MWS writes about Falkner to Maria Gisborne.
1836  4 Feb  Jane Williams Hogg gives birth to a daughter, Prudentia Sarah Hogg; MWS will become the godmother.
[23] Mar MWS removes Percy Florence from Harrow, employs a private tutor, and moves with her son to 14 North Bank, Regent's Park.
7 Apr  William Godwin dies and is buried on 14 April in the St. Pancras churchyard, close to Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. In his will, he leaves his manuscripts and letters to MWS with the request that she chose those worthy to print and destroy the rest. The proceeds of any publications are to benefit Mrs. Godwin. 
19 Jul Henry Colburn agrees to pay Mary Jane Godwin 350 guineas for Godwin's memoirs; MWS begins work on the project, which she never completes. Mrs. Godwin also received £50 from the Royal Literary Fund and, thanks to MWS's appeal to Lord Melbourne, £300 from the Royal Bounty Fund.
[10] Oct  MWS travels to Brighton to convalesce from a recurring malady.
[Nov/Dec] "The Parvenue" by "Mrs. Shelley" appears in The Keepsake for MDCCCXXXVII (209-11). 
1837  2 Feb  MWS returns to London.
Feb Falkner. A Novel (London: Saunders and Otley) is published in three volumes; the title page attributes the novel to "The Author of 'Frankenstein;' 'The Last Man,' &c." 
Mar MWS moves to 24 South Audley Street.
[Sep/Oct] Lives of the Most Eminent Literary and Scientific Men of Italy, Spain and Portugal, Vol 3 (London: Longman, Orme, Brown, [etc]) is published. 
10 Oct  Percy Florence enters Trinity College, Cambridge.
[Nov]  MWS moves to 41d Park Street, Grovenor Square.
[Nov/Dec] "The Pilgrims" appears in The Keepsake for MDCCCXXXIX (128-55).
1838  [Jul] Lives of the Most Eminent Literary and Scientific Men of France, Vol 1 (of 2) (London: Longman, Orme, Brown, [etc.]) of The Cabinet of Biography, Conducted by the Rev. Dionysius Lardner is published. 
Aug Sir Timothy Shelley permits MWS to publish Shelley's poems, provided that the works contain no memoirs of his son. MWS gets around this restriction by writing biographical notes for the poems.
[Nov/Dec]  MWS publishes two poems in The Keepsake for MDCCCXXXIX: "Stanzas" ("How like a star you rose upon my life") (179) and "Stanzas" ("O come to me in dreams, my love!") (201). The issue also contains a story: "Euphrasia: A Tale of Greece" by "Mrs. Shelley" (135-52). 
1839  Jan-May  MWS's four-volume edition of Poetical Words of Percy Bysshe Shelley (London: Edward Moxon), with her preface and notes, is published; she dedicates the edition to Percy Florence. 
[Mar] MWS undergoes a period of severe illness, possibly brought about by the strain of editing PBS's poems. She is frequently ill for the last 10 years of her life. 
[18] Mar MWS moves to Layton House, Putney.
[1] Aug  Lives of the Most Eminent Literary and Scientific Men of France, Vol 2 (London: Longman, Orme, Brown, [etc.]) is published. 
Nov  MWS's one volume edition of Poetical Words of Percy Bysshe Shelley (London: Edward Moxon) is published. 
Dec  MWS's edition of Percy Shelley's Essays, Letters from Abroad, Translations and Fragments (London: Edward Moxon) is published in two volumes.
1840  25 Mar MWS moves to 3 The Rise, Richmond. 
[5] Jun MWS, Percy Florence, and his friends tour the Continent, arriving in Paris on 22 June. The group travels through Germany and Switzerland, spends July and August in Cadenabbia, and then proceeeds to Milan, arriving on 11 September. Percy leaves for England with his friends a week later, and MWS continues to Paris, arriving on 10 October and remaining until the end of the year. 
1841  [11] Jan MWS moves to 84 Park Street, London.
Feb Percy Florence graduates from Trinity College, Cambridge. Sir Timothy increases his allowance to £400.
[17] May MWS moves to 35 Half Moon Street.
17 Jun Mary Jane Godwin dies.
1842  Jun - 30 Aug, 1843 MWS, Percy Florence, and friends tour the Continent again, this time visiting Kissingen, Berlin, Dresden, Venice, Florence, Rome, and Paris. 
Jul-Aug MWS visits Claire in Paris, where Claire introduces her to a group of Italian exiled revolutionaries, including Ferdinando Luigi Gatteschi. 
1843  Sep  MWS moves to White Cottage, Putney.
1844  24 Apr Sir Timothy Shelley dies; Percy Florence inherits the estate and title.
Jul Rambles in Germany and Italy in 1840, 1842, and 1843 (London: Edward Moxon) is published in two volumes.
1845  Sep  Ferdinando Gatteschi, whom MWS had aided financially and whose writing she had encouraged, attempts to blackmail her with her letters to him. Through the help of Percy Florence's friend Alexander Knox, the Italian police destroy the letters on 11 October. 
Oct  George "Byron," an unknown correspondent who claimed to be Byron's son, offers to sell MWS several letters written by PBS and herself. In February 1846, he threatens to publish letters from both PBS and Harriet Shelley, but is dissuaded when MWS threatens an injunction against the publication. 
1846  [Mar] MWS moves to 24 Chester Square, Pimlico.
1848  22 Jun Percy Florence marries Jane St. John.
Aug MWS, Percy Florence, and Jane move to Field Place. In November, they also take an apartment in Warwick Square. 
1849  May Charles Clairmont's daughter, Clara Clairmont, visits MWS at Field Place. There, she meets Alexander Knox. 
16 June Alexander Knox and Clara Clairmont marry; this creates an estrangement between Claire and the Shelleys. 
26 Dec Frankenstein; or, The Model Man, by William and Robert Brough, opens at the Adelphi Theatre for a run of 26 performances. 
1851  1 Feb MWS dies at age 53 in her home at Chester Square, London. Lady Jane Shelley arranges for the remains of Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin to be moved from St. Pancras to the churchyard at St. Peters, Bournemouth, and on 8 February, MWS is buried between her parents. 
1859 28 Aug Leigh Hunt dies.
1862 21 Aug Thomas Jefferson Hogg dies.
1879 19 Mar Claire Clairmont dies.
1881 13 Aug Edward John Trelawny dies.
1884 Nov Jane Williams Hogg dies.
1889 5 Dec Percy Florence Shelley dies.
1922   MWS's drama Midas, which she wrote in 1820, is published in Proserpine & Midas: Two unpublished Mythological Dramas by Mary Shelley, ed. A.H. Koszul (London: Humphrey Milford).
1959   MWS's 1819-1829 novel Mathilda, ed. Elizabeth Nitchie (Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press), which she wrote in 1819-1820, is published.



Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin
Although Mary Godwin did not become Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley until her marriage to PBS in December 1816, I will use MWS to refer to her throughout the chronology.

Mary Jane Clairmont changed her name several times, from Clara to Clair to Claire. To avoid confusion, I refer to her as Claire throughout the chronology.

May 1814
Sunstein and Stocking: 5 May
Bennett and Robinson (The Mary Shelley Reader): 3 May

27 Sep 1814
Bennett: 27 Sep
Stocking: 3 Nov

9 Nov 1814
Bennett: 9 Nov
Stocking: 4 Jan 1815. After a brief excursion to 43 Southampton Building on 6 Jan, the trio returns to Nelson Square on 7 Jan.

10 Jan 1815
Bennett: 10 Jan
Feldman and Scott-Kilvert: 13-17 Jan
Stocking: PBS, MWS, and Claire move to 41 Hans Place on 10 January, then reside at 1 Hans Place from 8 February to 2 March.

13 May 1816
Crook, Feldman and Scott-Kilvert, Sunstein: 13 May
Stocking: 17 May

22 - 30 Jun 1816
Dates taken from one of PBS's letters to Peacock, reprinted and annotated in Shelley and His Circle, 1773-1822, Vol VII.

Published anonymously
Unless indicated, all of Mary Shelley's publications are anonymous, although the title pages often attribute the work to "The Author of Frankenstein", a designation possibly used both to appease Sir Timothy Shelley, who did not want to see his son's name in print, and to capitalize on the popularity of MWS's first novel.

Three weeks in April (1818)
Bennett: 4 April - 1 May
Crook, Feldman and Scott-Kilvert: 4 April
Stocking: 21 April to 1 May

2 Oct 1819
Bennett: 2 October
Feldman and Scott-Kilvert: 7 October

26 Jan 1820
Bennett: 26 Jan
Crook: 27 Jan
Stocking: 10 Jan

Apr - May 1820 Crook: Apr-May
Sunstein: Winter

29 Oct 1820
Bennett, Crook: 29 Oct
Stocking: 31 Oct
Sunstein: 25 Oct

1 Nov 1821
Bennett, Sunstein, and Stocking: 1 Nov
Crook: 3 Nov

30 Apr 1822
Bennett: 30 Apr
Crook: 27 Apr
Feldman and Scott-Kilvert: [May]
Sunstein: Shelleys leave Pisa on 26 Apr and move into Casa Magni on [30] Apr.

14 Aug 1822
Feldman and Scott-Kilvert, and Sunstein: 14 Aug
Bennett: 15 Aug

26 May 1828
Bennett: 26 May
Crook: 19 May
Feldman and Scott-Kilvert: June

13 May 1829
Bennett, Sunstein: 13 May
Feldman and Scott-Kilvert: Jan

8 Sep 1832
Crook, Feldman and Scott-Kilvert, Sunstein: 8 Sep
Bennett: 4 Sep

[23] Mar 1836
Bennett, Crook: [23] Mar
Sunstein: [25] Mar
Feldman and Scott-Kilvert: Apr

24 Apr 1844
Bennett, Feldman and Scott-Kilvert: 24 Apr
Stocking: 23 Apr

Last Modified on 11 February, 1998
Page created by Shanon Lawson. Any questions or comments, please e-mail

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