Determined Heart, The: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein

Determined Heart, The: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein

by Antoinette May


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503945180
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 09/29/2015
Pages: 407
Sales rank: 1,333,346
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Antoinette May is the author of Pilate’s Wife and The Sacred Well and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Adventures of a Psychic. An award-winning travel writer specializing in Mexico, May divides her time between Palo Alto and the Sierra foothills.

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Determined Heart, The: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Stardust_Fiddle More than 1 year ago
With echoes of her deceased mother Mary Wollstonecraft’s avant garde feminism undergirding the narrative, Mary Godwin Shelley emerges from “The Determined Heart” as a heroine ahead of her time. Her unconventional love affair with Percy Bysshe Shelley marks a pivotal turning point in her young life, and what follows leads to myriad highs and lows and generates her crowning achievement, “Frankenstein.” Populated by characters both legendary and mundane, this story draws readers into a world that is in many ways reflective of contemporary society, and although it is a work of historical fiction, it nevertheless imparts a stimulating view of classic literature and the lives of those who composed it, tempestuous relationships and all. Short chapters and a continuous pace make this a relatively quick read, as well.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A historical fiction based on a true person which sometimes is my favorite historical fiction! This book is all about the author of Frankenstein - Mary Shelley and from her childhood to writing Frankenstein and beyond, this book really put a spotlight on how her life influenced her writing. I went into this book very blind about Mary Shelley and I am glad. I liked being able to read this piece of fiction and enjoy it, but it also made me want to one read Frankenstein and two read more about her and her family. Mary Shelley came from an interesting family and also created through friendships and acquaintances an interesting "family."
Mirella More than 1 year ago
Antoinette May has re-envisioned Mary's life in a most comprehensive and compelling way. She brings to life the famous poets who were integral to Mary's life, namely Percy Bysshe Shelly and Lord Byron. In doing so, she shows us the darker side of these famous men, their human failings as well as their genius talents. The writing of Frankenstein is not foremost in the novel. Rather, the reader discovers the elements of Mary's life that gave rise to novel and the monster's creation. What I enjoyed about this novel is that the characters were presented without prejudice, leaving the reader to decide whether they liked them or not, including Mary. Secret affairs, obsession, friendship, and debauchery line this novels pages, demonstrating their effects upon the main characters. Congratulations to the author for writing such an indepth biographical fiction novel about this fascinating woman's life. Truly unforgettable!
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Mary Shelly was the daughter of two renowned parents, William Godwin, political philosopher, and Mary Wollstonecraft, feminist writer. Mary Shelly’s father remarried after her mother’s death, a money-grabbing, bitter stepmother who denigrates Mary’s intelligence and visions of the best in life and learning. Mary’s sister, Fanny, is a timid creature who accommodates their step-mother’s demands but Mary prefers to read and write. The financial condition of the Godwin family is verging on disastrous and it is Mary’s stepmother who comes up with the idea of their opening a bookshop. Both her father and stepmother urge Mary and other writers to create fiction oriented toward children. At first it appears that their income will be moderate but sufficient to support their family. But needs arise and William taps everyone he knows for loans that eventually disappear. It’s at this time that Mary’s life undergoes an intense transformation. Mary falls in love with Bysshe Shelly, a married man whose possessive wife, Hannah, does everything possible to besmirch Mary’s name and family after Bysshe declares his undying love for Mary. Disaster will follow many years later after their rash, dedicated life begins. Another family member, Claire, will latch onto the couple and create many crises. Antoinette May interweaves Mary’s growing interest in the power of electricity to invigorate life with the scenery and castles of Geneva and other places. The weather is frightening frequently and Mary’s interest in Gothic elements grows and grows until she finally creates the famous novel, Frankenstein. Elements of her own and Bysshe’s personal life becomes the conflict elements of the scientist and the frightening creature he creates. While many readers have heard about this background information, this novel vividly and imaginatively recreates the probable scenario that led to this stunning novel still read by students and adult readers today. In one sense, the reader will sympathize with Mary who suffers much in order to remain with her greatest love. Other characters who offer support and friendship during these years are well-known and not so well-known; they enable Mary to endure Bysshe’s changeable and idealistic nature. Their beliefs are counter-culture to British and European ideas about nature and philosophy, earning the couple derision and scorn while hypocritically praising their literary creations. A not-so-praiseworthy depicting of the famed poet, Lord Byron, adds an intriguing, unexpected twist to the plot and its other characters, as well as his influence on both Bysshe and Mary. All in all, The Determined Heart… is a superb, literary novel about creativity, social and political mores, science, Gothic literature, passionate love that scorns mandated behavior and so much more – all with phenomenally disastrous and delightful consequences! So very well-crafted, Antoinette May! A classic work of literature or historical fiction in itself!
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
While I never actually read the book Frankenstein, I did see the movie, well the Mel Brooks version. But I was intrigued when I saw that Net Galley was offering this. I figured what the heck I'd learn a little something while being entertained. Well, I learned a lot. While I knew that Percy Shelley and Lord Byron were poets, I didn't really know much about them. Now, I know a lot about all three of these literary giants. Lord Byron certainly led a cray cray life and Percy Shelley wasn't all that normal himself. They were both ahead of their time. I found it very interesting and ironic that Mary Shelley wrote the book Frankenstein on a dare from Lord Byron. I honestly was very entertained while reading this book and I learned a few things as well. The story was well written and in a manner that was easy to understand and enjoy. I definitely recommend this book if your into biographies or if your a bibliofreak. Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with this free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.