Mary Shelley

Synopsis: The love affair between poet Percy Shelley and 18 year old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, which resulted in Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein.
120 min


[projector clicking]


[soft rain pattering]

[crow calling]

[pencil writing]

[Mary breathing softly]

[distant crows calls]

[writing continues]

[Mary whispering


[writing continues]

[gentle dramatic music ]

[writing stops]

[Mary, voiceover] Scarcely

had the demon cast

his burning stare upon her.

Scarcely had...

...the demon cast

his burning stare upon her...

...leaving his face

entirely without symmetry...

...leaving his face

entirely without form...

...and as her fingertips

touched upon his lips,

he melted into her.

[thunder rumbles]

[people chattering]

[horse whinnies]

She's looking for you.

[music fades]

[William] Next time you run

off to read ghost stories,

take me with you.

Who says I was

reading ghost stories?

It's thrilling, isn't it?

My heart was racing,

I was so scared.

If I were you,

I'd be more scared

of your father

catching you reading it.

I don't know how he vexes so.

People liked his Gothic


Your father

is in the bookshop working.

Claire has been tending

to the house.

I have spent all hours

going through the ledgers.

Where were you today

that you couldn't relieve

your father for a few hours?

I completed my work

for today.

I just went out

for some fresh air.

I know where you were.

Look who has returned,

my dear.

I just went out for a walk.

[distant chatter

on the street]


Glad to see you

devoting yourself

to these great works, Mary.

[bell on door jingles]

"To love reading is to have

everything within your reach."

[door opens, closes]

[Man] Payment is over-due, Mr.


Need I remind you of the

conditions of your loan?


Business has been very poor.

Allow me one more month.

[Man] Another month?

It's six months already.

Now, weren't you asking

for a ghost story?

Is it a new one?

[Man] Another month. Understand?

[mysterious music ]


I will rise from the grave... tell the tale of the

treachery I have suffered.

And to seek my revenge!


[people chattering]

[Mary, voiceover]

Scarcely had the demon cast...

...his burning stare

upon her... her icy cheeks...

[Claire whimpering]

[fretting indistinctly]

Claire, Claire. Claire!

It's just a nightmare.

It's all right.

Go back to sleep.

It's all right.

[Claire whimpers]

Go back to sleep.

[clock bells ringing

in the distance]

[quiet, melancholy music ]

[footsteps approaching]


You can't sleep?

Do you miss her?

She was so full of passion.

So full of defiance.

As if she were at war constantly

with everyone and everything.

And enjoying every moment

of the battle.

Warriors like your mother are

never long for this world.

[distant chatter on the


[Mary, voiceover] The Devil's claws

lunged at the maiden's neck.

Sinking his talons...

...deep, deep into her ripe,

pale skin.

Blood dripped...

like tracks in milky snow.

[Mrs. Godwin]


[Mary, voiceover]

She screamed.

[Mrs. Godwin]

Where are you?


No one watching the shop,

and you back here

scribbling away like a child.

Let's see what's so important

that it's kept you

from your work, shall we?

It is private.


What thoughts

haunt the daughter

of these esteemed writers?

Let go!



She pushed me!

- Did you not see her-

- I didn't do anything.

You all right?

I can't live

with someone like this.

There's not a grain

of respect in her.

- [Mary] I didn't do anything!

- That's enough. That's enough.

[Godwin, voiceover]

He's an old friend.

Mr. Baxter is as firm

a believer in education

as I am.

You'll find his house

very comfortable.

[Mary, voiceover]


[Godwin, voiceover] I'm sending you

away because I love you, Mary.

And because I sincerely hope

that you'll find the refuge

that you need there.

[melancholy music ]

Also that the solitude

will give you time

for introspection.

Your writing...

...this is the work

of an imitator.

Rid yourself of

the thoughts and words

of other people, Mary.

Find your own voice.


[birds singing]

Mary! Welcome.

Oh, my God, you look so much

like your mother.

And, thank the Lord,

not a thing like your father.

I'm William Baxter.

This is my daughter Isabel.

We'll do our best to keep you

amused out here, Mary.

It may not be

as bustling as London,

but I'm sure we can find

some ways to pass the time.

The night is so different here.

How do people sleep

with all this silence?

Come on, I know

just where to go.

I've thought of trying

to summon my mother... sance.

[branches crackling]

But she suffered so long

with illness...

...what if she has finally

found peace at last?

Wouldn't it be cruel

to disturb her?

Do you think

it could really work,

reaching the dead?

[insects chirping]

I already feel her presence.

I miss her so much.

Not a day goes by

when I don't think of her.

Would you ever consider

trying to contact your mother?

Maybe she wouldn't

want me to.

Given I was the one

who killed her.

She died just days

after I was born.

Oh, Mary.

[wind rustles]

[mysterious music ]

[water rushing]

[pleasant, dramatic music ]

I love it in Scotland.

Nothing is as I expected

it would be.


You've only been here

a few weeks.

Give it time.

In London it's not often

we have occasion

to picnic by the river.

Your mistake is waiting

for an occasion.


[wind rustling]

[Coleridge, reciting] I looked upon

the rotting sea And drew my eyes away

I looked upon the rotting deck

And there the dead men lay

I looked to Heaven

and tried to pray

But before a prayer had gushed

A wicked whisper came...

[Baxter] Come in. Come in.

You must be freezing.

If I could just give you

a couple of my essays.

[Servant woman

speaks indistinctly]

My contribution to this

evening's entertainment.

- [Baxter] How are you?

- [Shelley] Good. How's the party?

Isabel... who is that?

Oh, that's Shelley.

Beautiful, isn't he?

He's a radical poet.

He thinks poetry

should reform society,

and so he's often in trouble.


Sounds like quite a catch.

Come, let me introduce you

to some friends.

[Baxter] There is someone

I would like you to meet.

Good luck.

Percy, may I present Mary.



Baxter! Come and join us!

Oh, it's Coleridge.

Mary, could you put

these nameplates out, please?

[party chatter]

Let me get those for you.


I'm Percy Bysshe Shelley.

I am

Mary Wollstonecraft-Godwin.

Of course.

Baxter mentioned you'd

be joining the family here.

I am a great admirer

of both your parents' work.

[Mary] I hope I can entrust you

to this task, Mr. Shelley.

Or will you try to incite me

to revolution?


My reputation precedes me.

Won't you welcome a change

from the deafening quiet?


I've grown accustomed to it.

In London I spend most of my

time in my father's bookshop.

So the deafening quiet is not

as dramatic as you may think.

Baxter does his best

Rate this script:4.0 / 1 vote

Emma Jensen

Emma Jensen (born 25 November 1977) is rugby union player for New Zealand and Auckland. She was a member of three successful Rugby World Cup campaigns in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Jensen was named in the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup squad. In 2015, she made the squad to tour Canada for the inaugural Women’s Rugby Super Series. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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