Mary Shelley published her most famous novel, "Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus," in 1815. Shelley was only 21 years old when "Frankenstein" was published, and it was a huge success upon its release.
Mary Shelley's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died of complications from giving birth to Shelley. Mary's father had a large library, and Mary used it to read widely. After receiving an informal education, Mary eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, a poet, in 1814. Because of this, Mary's father refused to speak to her for several years. Mary and Percy's first three children died soon after they were born, but their son, Percy Florence, survived.
In 1815, Mary and Percy went on holiday in Switzerland with a group of friends. One of their friends, Lord Byron, suggested that everyone in the group write a ghost story, and it was then that Mary started work on "Frankenstein."
Percy drowned during a sailing trip in 1822, making Mary a widow at age 24. She published several more novels over the following years and worked to promote Percy's poetry.
Mary Shelley died at the age of 53 from brain cancer. She was buried alongside her parents with the cremated remains of Percy's heart in her coffin.
Shelley's novel "Mathilde" was published in the 1950s, although "Frankenstein" remains her most famous work; it has been released as a film adaptation numerous times.