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Monsters

Written by Sharon Dogar

Key Stage 3 Historical Fiction True Stories

LoveReading View on Monsters

Monsters is a novel about radical ideas, rule-breaking love, dangerous Romantics, and the creation of the greatest Gothic novel of them all: Frankenstein.

An absolutely compelling, pyschological insight into the woman who created the much studied Gothic novel Frankenstein which will illuminate that study enormously and ensure a much deeper understanding. Mary Godwin’s own story is, of course, as dramatic and heartrending as her novel and Sharon Dogar brings her vividly to life. The reader is swept up by the romance of the young lovers, Mary and Shelley, but probably astonished at her youth; she was only 16 when they eloped, and genuinely shocked at their courage in defying society and conventional morality. Then outraged by the way she is treated by her father; a radical philosopher in writing only and certainly not in his actions and then very nearly overwhelmed by the tragedy that dogs her. But the strength of this beautifully written and cleverly constructed novel is the insight into the other players in this drama as well as into Mary’s emotional and mental turmoil. The clue is in the clever title – not Monster but Monsters and Mary’s frank understanding of her own monstrous behaviour, especially to stepsister Claire or Shelley’s wife Harriet, perfectly counterpoints the lack of self-awareness in Mr Godwin, Byron, Claire and Shelley himself. This left me desperate to re-read Frankenstein which surely shows this thoughtful novel can be a real gift to English teachers everywhere. - Joy Court

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Monsters Synopsis

A incredible take on the early turbulent years of a young Mary Shelley. Set in 1814 Mary Godwin, the sixteen-year-old daughter of radical socialist and feminist writers, runs away with a charming young poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. 

1814: Mary Godwin, the sixteen-year-old daughter of radical socialist and feminist writers, runs away with a dangerously charming young poet - Percy Bysshe Shelley. From there, the two young lovers travel a Europe in the throes of revolutionary change, through high and low society, tragedy and passion, where they will be drawn into the orbit of the mad and bad Lord Byron. But Mary and Percy are not alone: they bring Jane, Mary's young step-sister. And she knows the biggest secrets of them all . . . Told from Mary and Jane's perspectives, Monsters is a novel about radical ideas, rule-breaking love, dangerous Romantics, and the creation of the greatest Gothic novel of them all: Frankenstein

Monsters Press Reviews

I hugely enjoyed this compelling and passionate reimagining of the tumultuous teenage years of Mary Shelley - The Bookseller

A thoughtful and utterly fascinating story of love, hate and artistic creation -- Sally Nicholls Dogar writes Shelley as a revolutionary but one that is tangible and compassionate. Her monologues are ones that feel poignant and continue to ring true throughout her journeys in the book. She manages to ground Shelley in a way that shows a new side to the mother of monsters and allows the reader to live through her life intimately. - NYALitFest Newsletter

Book Information

ISBN: 9781783448029
Publication date: 7th February 2019
Author: Sharon Dogar
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 464 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 3
Topics: Historical Fiction, True Stories

About Sharon Dogar

Sharon Dogar was our Guest Editor in May 2011. Her book selection can be found here. Sharon Dogar’s first novel, Waves, is a poignant coming-of-age story about a family dealing with the accident of their daughter. It took a while for Sharon to get started, "but then I had ‘the moment,' " she explains. "That moment when a character just arrives in your mind and begs to be written - whether you want to do it or not.  I remember it was lunchtime.  I walked into the sitting room and had a thought: I was by ...

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