Mary Shelley and her Unusual Bournemouth Burial

I have recently read more into the relation between Mary Shelley and Bournemouth, and what I discovered was more than I imagined.

Lets start with Mary Shelley..


She was born in 1797 and less than a month after, her mother passed away. She was then raised by her father, who provided her with a rich education and encouraged her to believe in his own ‘liberal political theories’.

She began a romance with one of her fathers political followers. They ended up traveling Europe together and on their return, she was pregnant with his child. The child unfortunately later died in result to a premature birth. She moved to Italy in 1818, where they went on to have two more children, which both
also died. She eventually gave birth to their one and only surviving child, a son.

In 1822, Mary’s husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm. A year later, she moved back to Britain to dedicated her life to her son and to concentrate on becoming a professional author whilst living in Boscombe Manor.

She became a very respected English novelist, best known for her novel; Frankenstein. A story of a young scientist who creates a distorted but human-like creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment.

Today, the story is still a favourite among many people and has even inspired many films, television shows, books and theatre adaptations throughout the years.

She spent the last few years of her life fighting a brain tumour, which killed her at the age of 53 in 1851.


Before her death, she requested that to be buried in Bournemouth, along with her parents.

Her parents were already deceased when Mary passed away, which means they had to be moved and re-buried with her in St Peters Church.

Along with Mary and her parents, something unusual was buried that day.. Her husbands heart.

After being retrieved before his cremation, Mary kept his heart, pressed flat in a copy of their poem ‘Adonais’ and was buried for the first time with Mary in the tomb..


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