Free Exhibit: Shelley’s Ghost: The Afterlife of a Poet Through June 24, Gallery Hours — Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Gallery, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 5th Ave. at 42nd St., New York City
For the first time ever, selections from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein manuscript are available for public viewing in the United States in this exciting exhibition, which is being shown in collaboration with the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in England and highlights the literary and cultural legacy of Percy Bysshe and Mary Shelley, and that of her parents, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Using manuscripts, books and relics, the exhibition will tell the truly remarkable – and sometimes salacious – tale of this extraordinary circle of people, complete with wild romances, tragic deaths, exile, revolution and landmark literary accomplishments. The artifacts being shown come from both The New York Public Library’s Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle and The Bodleian. The collections of the two institutions encompass close to 90 percent of all known surviving Shelley manuscripts, and much of the material being shown has never been seen by the general public in the United States before. Materials from the Bodleian haven’t traveled to the United States for more than 50 years, so this exhibition is truly a rare opportunity to see collections that embody a history of literary Romanticism in Britain and the United States. The exhibition offers a lens through which to see that history.