laundry, frankenstein, and latin
While Mary was writing Frankenstein, she was pregnant and had a toddler. She was not married to Shelley so most of England would not speak to her. That fall, her half-sister killed herself and a few months later Shelley’s deserted wife jumped off a bridge. Mary kept writing, though. She studied Latin every day and kept to a rigorous course of reading, including books by Sidney, Milton, and Smollet. Meanwhile, she kept tabs on the feckless Shelley. While he was away in London, fighting for custody of his children by his dead wife, she wrote a friend, asking her to please get his dirty clothes out of his room and have them sent to the laundry. She apologized for asking such a favor, saying, “Mr. Shelley’s thoughtlessness must be my excuse.”
How come she didn’t get to be thoughtless? Why was she worrying about the laundry?