Mary Shelley’s Children’s Book
Mary Shelley, the celebrated author of Frankenstein, wrote a children’s book that remained undiscovered until 1997. Maurice, or the Fisher’s Cot, the only children’s book by Mary Shelley, was written by Mary for the daughter of a friend. The story follows a little boy named Maurice who runs away from home and meets misfortune along the way. Ultimately Maurice meets a man who turns out to be his biological father and, in the spirit of all great children’s stories, he lives happily ever after.
Perhaps the best part of the book is the introduction by Claire Tomalin. In detail, Tomalin describes the story behind the discovery of the “Maurice” manuscript in 1997 in Italy. She also sheds light on the events in Mary Shelley’s life that strongly influenced this children”s story. From her relationship with her husband to the loss of her children, the events of Shelley’s life are reflected in the melancholic tones of Maurice.