The Best Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley quotes

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley quotes thumbnail

In the world of literature, there are few female writers that compare to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Her work has been praised for its range and depth, and her ability to create complex characters. This quotes compilation seeks to explore the life of this brilliant writer and bring her best quotes to light. (Want more?)

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is one of the most renowned female writers in history. Though she is best known for her novel Frankenstein, her other works are equally as impressive. This quotes compilation takes a look at the life of this remarkable woman, from her birth in 1797 to her death in 1851. It traces her journey as an artist, and explores the many factors that contributed to her success.

Discover the best Love, Misery, Life, World, Evil, Miserable, Mind quotes from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and much more.


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About Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

birth of the author

30 August 1797

death of the author

1 February 1851

occupation of the author


award of the author

Notable Works:
Frankenstein, Among Others


Persecuted and tortured as I am and have been, can death be any evil to me? โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Evil thenceforth became my good. โ€” Mary Shelley

No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks. โ€” Mary Shelley

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

persecuted and tortured as i am and have been can death be any evil to me Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley quote

I could not understand why men who knew all about good and evil could hate and kill each other. โ€” Mary Shelley


I am alone and miserable. Only someone as ugly as I am could love me. โ€” Mary Shelley

If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear! โ€” Mary Shelley

I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. โ€” Mary Shelley

Marriage is usually considered the grave, and not the cradle of love. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

marriage is usually considered the grave and not the cradle of love Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley quote

There is love in me the likes of which you’ve never seen. There is rage in me the likes of which should never escape. If I am not satisfied int he one, I will indulge the other. โ€” Mary Shelley

Once I falsely hoped to meet the beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding. โ€” Mary Shelley

I love man as my fellow; but his scepter, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man. โ€” Mary Shelley

My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not endure the violence of the change without torture such as you cannot even imagine. โ€” Mary Shelley

I cherished hope, it is true, but it vanished when my person reflected . . . โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley


My own mind began to grow, watchful with anxoius thoughts. โ€” Mary Shelley

Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to a mind when it has once seized on it like a lichen on a rock. โ€” Frankenstein P115

It is hardly surprising that women concentrate on the way they look instead of what is in their minds since not much has been put in their minds to begin with. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

What is Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley best known for?

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is best known for writing Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, a text that is part Gothic novel and part philosophical novel.

It is often considered an early example of science fiction. Shelley finished writing the first edition of Frankenstein when she was 19 years old.

The companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain. โ€” Mary Shelley

A mind of moderate capacity which closely pursues one study must infallibly arrive at great proficiency in that study. โ€” Mary Shelley

A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. โ€” Mary Shelley

What are we, the inhabitants of this globe, least among the many that people infinite space? Our minds embrace infinity; the visible mechanism of our being is subject to merest accident. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change. โ€” Mary Shelley

Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change. The sun might shine, or the clouds might lour: but nothing could appear to me as it had done the day before. โ€” Mary Shelley

Nothing contributes so much to tranquilizing the mind as a steady purposeโ€“โ€“a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful. โ€” Mary Shelley

You are my creator, but I am your master; Obey! โ€” Mary Shelley


Take me where I may forget myself, my existence, and all the world. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

The world was to me a secret which I desired to devine. โ€” Mary Shelley

I leave a sad and bitter world; and if you remember me, and think of me as of one unjustly condemned, I am resigned to the fate awaiting me. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

take me where i may forget myself my existence and all the world Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley quote

Poetry, and the principle of Self, of which money is the visible incarnation, are the God and the Mammon of the world. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow. โ€” Mary Shelley

The world to me was a secret, which I desired to discover; to her it was a vacancy, which she sought to people with imaginations of her own. โ€” Mary Shelley

Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Redundant Thematics

In Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Statements


There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter an enchanted garden. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

It is true, we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world; but on that account we shall be more attached to one another. โ€” Mary Shelley

At the age of twenty six I am in the condition of an aged personโ€“all my old friends are gone… & my heart fails when I think by how few ties I hold to the world. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley


I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous. โ€” Mary Shelley

Learn from my miseries, and do not seek to increase your own. โ€” Mary Shelley

But soon, I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt. Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. โ€” Mary Shelley

The agony of my feelings allowed me no respite; no incident occurred from which my rage and misery could not extract its food. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

But her’s was the misery of innocence, which, like a cloud that passes over the fair moon, for a while hides, but cannot tarnish its brightness. โ€” Mary Shelley


A miserable spectacle of wrecked humanity, pitiable to others and intolerable to myself. โ€” Mary Shelley

I, a miserable wretch, haunted by a curse that shut up every avenue to enjoyment. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

I beheld the wretchโ€“the miserable monster whom I had created. โ€” Mary Shelley

Devil, do you dare approach me? and do you not fear the fierce vengeance of my arm wreaked on your miserable head? โ€” Mary Shelley

Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master;โ€“โ€“obey! โ€” Mary Shelley

I saw no cause for their unhappiness, but I was deeply affected by it. If such lovely creatures were miserable, it was less strange that I, an imperfect and solitary being, should be wretched. โ€” Mary Shelley


Life is obstinate and clings closest where it is most hated. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Once a king … it was impossible, without risk of life, to sink to a private station. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

life is obstinate and clings closest where it is most hated Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley quote

Could I behold this and live? Alas! Life is obstinate and clings closest where it is most hated. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

To examine the causes of life, we must first have recourse to death. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

What did Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley write?

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelleyโ€™s best-known book is Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus .

She wrote several other novels, including Valperga , The Last Man , The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck , Lodore, and Falkner , and a travel book, History of a Six Weeksโ€™ Tour


Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it. โ€” Mary Shelley

The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. โ€” Mary Shelley

How mutable are our feelings, and how strange is that clinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery! โ€” Mary Shelley

to examine the causes of life we must first have recourse to death Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley quote

Ennui, the demon, waited at the threshold of his noiseless refuge, and drove away the stirring hopes and enlivening expectations, which form the better part of life. โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

My life, as it passes thus, was indeed hateful to me, and it was during sleep alone that I could taste joy. O blessed sleep! โ€” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

The whole series of my life appeared to me as a dream; I sometimes doubted if indeed it were all true, for it never presented itself to my mind with the force of reality. โ€” Mary Shelley

Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. โ€” Mary Shelley

Wasting Life?


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