Mary Shelley, a writer, was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on August 30, 1797, in London, England. Mary Shelley was brought up by her father in a house filled with radical thinkers, poets, philosophers and writers of the day. Made a widow at age 24, Mary Shelley worked hard to support herself and her son. She wrote several more novels, including Valperga and the science fiction tale The Last Man (1826). Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Biography and Profile.