Born in 1797, Mary Shelley's mother died when she was only 11 days old. Mary was then raised by her Father, who remarried when she was four, and thereafter the young Mary had a liberal but informal upbringing. At 17 she began the relationship with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley which was the bedrock of her life; although society viewed the unmarrieds somewhat differently. It was in this relationship that she nurtured and edited Shelley's verse and wrote, at 21, her signature work "Frankenstein" for which she is so well known. Her husband drowned when she was 25 which added further to the earlier loss of 3 of her 4 children. Beset with such great tragedy her life remained to be fulfilled but, at only 53, a brain tumour was to take her own life. However she left behind a wonderful collection of works of which The Last Man is a rich and textured part.