Hello John and welcome to My Jane Austen Book Club. I’d like to start our chat with a question that came to my mind as soon as I read you were publishing, Pride and Prometheus , a mash-up tale based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Do you think Jane and Mary could have ever been friends? (time lap apart)
I think that it would be unlikely that they would be friends, if only because of their different life choices. Jane was the conservative daughter of a clergyman and was raised in polite upperclass British society. She cared about the strictures of society and what was and was not proper behavior.
Mary was the daughter of two radicals; her mother Mary Wollstonecraft wrote one of the first arguments for women's equality, A Vindication of the Rights of Women and her father William Godwin was a supporter of the French Revolution. Mary ran off with the poet Percy Shelley when she was seventeen while Shelley was still married to his first wife. Shelley abandoned his wife and son to go off with her. If Mary were a character in a Jane Austen novel, she would be the "bad girl" or the "ruined woman" who violated every rule of society, like Maria Bertram in Mansfield Park.