London apartment where Frankenstein writer Mary Shelley once lived is up for sale for £1 million

For some house hunters this will be a monstrously attractive asset.

A charming two-bedroom apartment at 87 Marchmont Street in London is up for sale for £1,025,000 – and it’s right where Frankenstein author Mary Shelley once lived.

Shelley moved in 1815 with her then-lover, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, to a house that now houses the Bloomsbury apartment building. A blue plaque outside the property – erected in 2009 – highlights the literary significance of the site.

The two bedroom first floor apartment at 87 Marchmont Street is up for sale for £1,025,000 million (pictured in the centre)

The two bedroom first floor apartment at 87 Marchmont Street is up for sale for £1,025,000 million (pictured in the centre)

Mary Shelley, pictured, moved in 1815 to a house that now houses the Bloomsbury apartment building with her then-lover, the poet Percy Shelley

Mary Shelley, pictured, moved in 1815 to a house that now houses the Bloomsbury apartment building with her then-lover, the poet Percy Shelley

The blue plaque outside the property, pictured above, highlights its literary significance.  Image Courtesy of Creative Commons

The blue plaque outside the property, pictured above, highlights its literary significance.  Image Courtesy of Creative Commons

Mary Shelley, pictured left, moved into a house in 1815 with her then-lover, the poet Percy Shelley, that now houses the Bloomsbury apartment building. The blue plaque outside the property, pictured to the right, emphasizes its literary significance. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Mary was just 16 when she fell for the older Percy, then 21 years old and married to his first wife, Harriet Westbrook.

The couple courted in the Gothic graveyard of St Pancras Old Church – just a short walk from Marchmont Street. Here she fell for his “wild, intellectual, unearthly appearance” and the couple is said to have solemnized their relationship on her mother Mary Wollstonecraft’s gravestone.

Mary’s father, the philosopher and novelist William Godwin, disapproved of their relationship, so they fled to Europe with Mary’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont.

The trio traveled through France and Switzerland until a lack of money forced them to return to the UK. Back on British soil, Mary and Percy lived at different addresses, one of which was on Marchmont Street.

Claire moved in with the couple. According to Explore LondonTheir landlady was named Mrs. Harbottle, and it was during this time that Mary and Percy welcomed a son, William, who was nicknamed “Willmouse.”

Pictured is the living room at the Marchmont Street address.  Mary and Percy moved to the street when they returned to England from their travels

Pictured is the living room at the Marchmont Street address.  Mary and Percy moved to the street when they returned to England from their travels

Pictured is the living room at the Marchmont Street address. Mary and Percy moved to the street when they returned to England from their travels

Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, lived with the literary couple at the Marchmont Street residence

Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, lived with the literary couple at the Marchmont Street residence

Mary’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont, lived with the literary couple at the Marchmont Street residence

They moved in 1816 and left England to live with the Romantic poet Lord Byron in his mansion, Villa Diodati, on Lake Geneva.

It was here, just 18 years old, that Mary Shelley began writing what would become “Frankenstein, or the modern Prometheus” – the book that shaped her legacy.

The legendary horror story tells the story of scientist Victor Frankenstein, who resurrects a creature as part of a fateful experiment.

They moved in 1816 and traveled to Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva.  Mary, Percy and Claire left Marchmont Street in 1816 and traveled to Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva

They moved in 1816 and traveled to Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva.  Mary, Percy and Claire left Marchmont Street in 1816 and traveled to Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva

Pictured is the kitchen in the Marchmont Street apartment. Mary, Percy and Claire left the street in 1816 and traveled to Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva

Mary and Percy lived at 26 Marchmont Street, but the property was demolished in 1904. The building that was erected in its wake was given the number 87 – and the first floor of that same building is today looking for a new owner.

The property is being sold through real estate agency Dexters and, according to the listing, has ‘original wooden floors throughout, floor-to-ceiling sliding windows, a separate kitchen and a private terrace’.

In addition to two bedrooms, the apartment has ‘a spacious reception room’, or a ‘comfortable dining and living room’, and a bathroom.

The two bedroom property has 'original wood floors throughout' and 'floor to ceiling sliding windows'

The two bedroom property has 'original wood floors throughout' and 'floor to ceiling sliding windows'

The two bedroom property has ‘original wood floors throughout’ and ‘floor to ceiling sliding windows’

Upstairs is the property's 'spacious reception area' which is 'a comfortable dining and living area'

Upstairs is the property's 'spacious reception area' which is 'a comfortable dining and living area'

Upstairs is the property’s ‘spacious reception area’ which is ‘a comfortable dining and living area’

The apartment's kitchen opens onto a wooden terrace with 'high walls for privacy' (photo)

The apartment's kitchen opens onto a wooden terrace with 'high walls for privacy' (photo)

The apartment’s kitchen opens onto a wooden terrace with ‘high walls for privacy’ (photo)

The kitchen opens onto a wooden terrace with ‘high walls for privacy’.

The listing adds: ‘Marchmont Street is in the heart of Bloomsbury and offers everything from independent cafes to chain stores in The Brunswick Centre. The nearest tube is Russell Square and King’s Cross is less than half a mile away.’

Michael Keating, director of Dexters Bloomsbury, says: ‘This bright first floor flat offers buyers the opportunity to acquire a piece of history in one of London’s most historic neighbourhoods.

‘Marchmont Street has a wide range of pubs, cafes and second-hand bookshops. For the literary buff, St Pancras Old Church and its graveyard are still just a 15 minute walk down the road.’

For more information visit dexters.co.uk.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MARY SHELLEY

Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin in 1797, the son of author William Godwin and feminist activist Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Wollstonecraft died shortly after giving birth, and William subsequently remarried a neighbor, Mary Jane Clairmont, whom Mary Shelley did not get along with.

A teenage Mary met the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley through her father – the radical was a supporter of Godwin’s politics. The couple married in 1816 after the death of Percy’s first wife, Harriet Westbrook.

Mary came up with the idea for Frankenstein while she was in Geneva – it is said that the inspiration came to her on a rainy afternoon as she was locked up telling ghost stories.

The couple moved to Italy in 1918, where two of their children – daughter Clara and son William – died tragically in two separate incidents. This was not their first painful loss – a year before their wedding, Mary gave birth to a two-month premature girl. Their son Percy was their only surviving child.

Mary was widowed in 1822 when Percy – just 29 years old – was killed in a sailing accident. She then returned to England, where she devoted herself to her flourishing career as a writer.

While Frankenstein is her most acclaimed work, Mary’s other novels have also been acclaimed — such as the historical novels Valperga (1823) and Perkin Warbeck (1830), and novels The Last Man (1826), Lodore (1835), and Falkner (1837).

Mary died in 1851, at the age of 53, of a brain tumor. Since her death, Frankenstein – recognized as an early science fiction work – has been adapted several times on stage and on screen.

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