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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Mary Shelley Quotes

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Mary Shelley
(30 Aug 1797 - 1 Feb 1851)

English author , (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin) wrote several novels, mostly forgotten except for one that remains most famous, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). Her husband was the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Science Quotes by Mary Shelley (8 quotes)

All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou are bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.
— Mary Shelley
Frankenstein (1818, 1823), Vol. 1, 205.
Science quotes on:  |  Annihilation (7)  |  Creator (55)  |  Creature (155)  |  Hatred (19)  |  Spurn (2)  |  Tie (24)  |  Wretched (2)

Every where I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded.
— Mary Shelley
Frankenstein (1818, 1823), Vol. 1, 207.
Science quotes on:  |  Bliss (3)  |  Exclusion (13)  |  Irrevocable (2)

I beheld the wretch—the miserable monster whom I had created.
— Mary Shelley
In Frankenstein (1818, 1823), 100.
Science quotes on:  |  Behold (18)  |  Creation (242)  |  Frankenstein (3)  |  Miserable (7)  |  Monster (24)  |  Wretch (5)

It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn.
— Mary Shelley
In Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus (Rev. ed. 1831, 1839), 24. Webmaster note: This line does not appear before this edition, revised by Shelley for Colburn and Bentley’s Standard Novels Series, No. 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1306)

M. Waldman … concluded with a panegyric upon modern chemistry…:— “The ancient teachers of this science” said he, “Promised impossibilities and performed nothing. The modern masters promise very little; they know that metals cannot be transmuted and that the elixir of life is a chimera. But these philosophers seem only made to dabble in dirt, and their eyes to pore over the microscope or crucible, have indeed performed miracles. They penetrate into the recesses of nature and show how she works in her hiding-places. They ascend into the heavens; they have discovered how the blood circulates, and the nature of the air we breathe. They can command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock the invisible world with its own shadows.”
— Mary Shelley
In Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus (1823), Vol. 1, 73-74. Webmaster note: In the novel, when the fictional characters meet, M. Waldman, professor of chemistry, sparks Victor Frankenstein’s interest in science. Shelley was age 20 when the first edition of the novel was published anonymously (1818).
Science quotes on:  |  Air (190)  |  Alchemist (17)  |  Blood (104)  |  Chemistry (252)  |  Chimera (8)  |  Command (28)  |  Crucible (6)  |  Discover (199)  |  Earthquake (29)  |  Invisible (38)  |  Metal (41)  |  Microscope (74)  |  Mimic (2)  |  Miracle (66)  |  Mock (7)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Philosopher (166)  |  Shadow (52)  |  Thunder (14)  |  Transmutation (18)  |  World (898)

Said M. Waldman, “…Chemistry is that branch of natural philosophy in which the greatest improvements have been and may be made; it is on that account that I have made it my peculiar study; but at the same time, I have not neglected the other branches of science. A man would make but a very sorry chemist if he attended to that department of human knowledge alone. If your wish is to become really a man of science and not merely a petty experimentalist, I should advise you to apply to every branch of natural philosophy, including mathematics.”
— Mary Shelley
In Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus (1823), Vol. 1, 73-74. Webmaster note: In the novel, when the fictional characters meet, M. Waldman, professor of chemistry, sparks Victor Frankenstein’s interest in science. Shelley was age 20 when the first edition of the novel was published anonymously (1818).
Science quotes on:  |  Branch (107)  |  Chemist (89)  |  Chemistry (252)  |  Experimentalist (11)  |  Greatest (63)  |  Improvement (74)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Natural Philosophy (31)  |  Neglect (33)  |  Scientist (522)  |  Study (476)

Teach him to think for himself? Oh, my God, teach him rather to think like other people!
— Mary Shelley
Expressing concern for her son’s education. In Matthew Arnold, Essays in Criticism, Second Series (1888).
Science quotes on:  |  Education (347)  |  Thinking (231)

You seek for knowledge and wisdom as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been.
— Mary Shelley
In Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus (1818, 1823), Vol. 1, 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1306)

Quotes by others about Mary Shelley (1)

Ode to The Amoeba
Recall from Time's abysmal chasm
That piece of primal protoplasm
The First Amoeba, strangely splendid,
From whom we're all of us descended.
That First Amoeba, weirdly clever,
Exists today and shall forever,
Because he reproduced by fission;
He split himself, and each division
And subdivision deemed it fitting
To keep on splitting, splitting, splitting;
So, whatsoe'er their billions be,
All, all amoebas still are he.
Zoologists discern his features
In every sort of breathing creatures,
Since all of every living species,
No matter how their breed increases
Or how their ranks have been recruited,
From him alone were evoluted.
King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba
And Hoover sprang from that amoeba;
Columbus, Shakespeare, Darwin, Shelley
Derived from that same bit of jelly.
So famed is he and well-connected,
His statue ought to be erected,
For you and I and William Beebe
Are undeniably amoebae!
(1922). Collected in Gaily the Troubadour (1936), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Abyss (23)  |  Amoeba (20)  |  William Beebe (5)  |  Billion (62)  |  Breed (22)  |  Chasm (8)  |  Christopher Columbus (15)  |  Creature (155)  |  Charles Darwin (301)  |  Division (34)  |  Evolution (535)  |  Fission (7)  |  Herbert Hoover (13)  |  Jelly (4)  |  Life (1131)  |  Matter (343)  |  Ode (2)  |  Poem (92)  |  Primal (5)  |  Protoplasm (12)  |  Reproduction (61)  |  William Shakespeare (102)  |  Species (221)  |  Split (13)  |  Statue (11)  |  Zoologist (11)

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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