Mary Shelley's 1826 novel

28 August 2009

Marlyn Glen MSP has deposited with Dundee City Council’s Libraries a copy of one of Mary Shelley’s lesser-known works for public lending.

Her novel "The Last Man " was published in 1826.

It deals with the tragic fate of a group of friends in the late 21st. century in a dystopian world gripped by a relentlessly-spreading plague.

The Dundee connection between the novel "Frankenstein and Mary Shelley is well known.

The plaque on the south facing wall at South Baffin Street states " On this site stood the cottage, mentioned in "Frankenstein" , visited by Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (1812-14) " .

The photograph on this page shows Marlyn Glen at the plaque in South Baffin Street with a copy of "The Last Man"

Mary Shelley’s recalled the influence that her stays in Dundee had upon her writing in the introduction to the 1831 third edition of Frankenstein.

"By 1812, the animosity between Mary and her stepmother had grown to such an extent that William Godwin sent her to board with an acquaintance, William Baxter, who lived in Dundee, Scotland. Mary's stay with the Baxter family had a profound effect on her: they provided her with a model of the type of closely-knit, loving family to which she would aspire for the rest of her life. Moreover, in the 1831 Preface to Frankenstein, she claims that this period of life led to her development as a writer: "I lived principally in the country as a girl, and passed a considerable time in Scotland. I made occasional visits to the more picturesque parts; but my habitual residence was on the blank and dreary northern shores of the Tay, near Dundee. Blank and dreary on retrospection I call them; they were not so to me then. They were the eyry of freedom, and the pleasant region where unheeded I could commune with the creatures of my fancy. "

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