The Romantic Age (1780-1830) was a time when writers" ideas went from those of the Age of Reason to more imaginative ideas. These ideas were changed throughout this time for many reasons, including the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution in England, and the many other things that affected the society. A great example of the use of imagination was a by called Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, a great writer of the Romantic Age.
Born on August 30, 1797, Mary Shelley seemed like she was meant for greatness. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, who was a liberal thinker and radical feminist, passed away 10 days after her birth, leaving her and her half sister to be cared by her father, William Godwin. Her father married their neighbor, Mary Jane Clairmont, who was a widow and had two children of her own. .
Shelley began her writing when she was very young, and she was observing many other writers becoming interested in what they were doing. She was inspired to write the famous novel Frankenstein in the summer of 1819, after she met with Lord Byron and he recommended that she try writing her own ghost story. A few nights later Mary had a dream and explained it by saying:.
Night waned upon this talk; and even the witching hour had gone by before we retired to rest. When I placed my head on the pillow I did not sleep, nor could I be said to think. My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me, gifting the successive images that arose in my mind with a vividness far beyond the normal bounds of reverie. I saw- with eyes shut but acute mental vision- I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had to put together. (Shelley).
Fitting perfect with the ideas of her time, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was a book which required much imagination in order for it to be written. Based on her dream, Shelley developed one of the greatest stories of all time. .
As with many good stories, the story of Frankenstein's conception begins on a dark and stormy night: June 16, 1816 (Nichols 102).