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Ranking Author Mary Shelley’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

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“What are Mary Shelley’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Shelley’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Mary Shelley and looked at their Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Mary Shelley



10 ) The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck, A Romance

 The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck, A Romance Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 10

The principal thing that I should wish to be impressed on my reader’s mind is, that whether my hero was or was not an impostor, he was believed to be the true man by his contemporaries. The partial pages of Bacon, of Hall, and Holinshed and others of that date, are replete with proofs of this fact. This historical novel, influenced by those of Sir Walter Scott, fictionalises the exploits of Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the throne of King Henry VII who claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, the second son of King Edward IV. Shelley believed that Warbeck really was Richard and had escaped from the Tower of London. She endows his character with elements of Percy Shelley, portraying him sympathetically as “an angelic essence, incapable of wound”, who is led by his sensibility onto the political stage. She seems to have identified herself with Richard’s wife, Lady Katherine Gordon, who survives after her husband’s death by compromising with his political enemies. Lady Gordon stands for the values of friendship, domesticity and equality; through her, Mary Shelley offers a female alternative to the masculine power politics that destroy Richard, as well as the typical historical narrative which only relates those events.

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8 ) Midas

 Midas Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 8

Pros. Ino, you knew erewhile a River-God, Who loved you well and did you oft entice To his transparent waves and flower-strewn banks. He loved high poesy and wove sweet sounds, And would sing to you as you sat reclined .

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8 ) Proserpine

 Proserpine Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 8

Pros. Ino, you knew erewhile a River-God, Who loved you well and did you oft entice To his transparent waves and flower-strewn banks. He loved high poesy and wove sweet sounds, And would sing to you as you sat reclined .

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7 ) Mathilda

 Mathilda Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 6

Mary Shelley’s “Matilda” – suppressed for over a century – tells the story of a woman alienated from society by the incestuous passion of her father.

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6 ) Falkner. A Novel

 Falkner. A Novel Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 7

Falkner is an exceptional book, and a fitting last chapter to Mary Shelley’s career. Sometimes it is said that the great writers examine the world around them, and then write about what they see in it. Surely this is true of Mary Shelley — was true of her even at age nineteen. She made order out of chaos, and found parents where there were none.

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5 ) The Last Man

 The Last Man Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 5

A futuristic story of tragic love and of the gradual extermination of the human race by plague, The Last Man is Mary Shelley’s most important novel after Frankenstein. With intriguing portraits of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron, the novel offers a vision of the future that expresses a reaction against Romanticism, and demonstrates the failure of the imagination and of art to redeem the doomed characters.

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3 ) Lodore

 Lodore Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 2

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world’s literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

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3 ) Maurice; or, The Fisher’s Cot

 Maurice; or, The Fisher's Cot Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 4

In November 1997, a slight book sewn together with string was discovered in a palazzo in Italy. This was Maurice, the only children’s story ever penned by Mary Shelley. Written two years after Frankenstein, Maurice is often read as a gloss of Shelley’s personal family tragedies, bearing the same melancholy that distinguishes all of her works. As Claire Tomalin shows in her compelling introduction, it contributes greatly to the literary and biographical scholarship on this fascinating woman who was a significant writer in her own right as well as the wife of one of the world’s greatest romantic poets.

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2 ) Valperga: Or, the Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca

 Valperga: Or, the Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 1

Valperga (1823), the novel Mary Shelley wrote after Frankenstein, is based on the life of Castruccio Castracani (1281-1328), Prince of Lucca. A brilliant soldier and cruel tyrant, he successfully commanded Ghibelline forces in Tuscany against the Guelphs. Woven into the story of this factional conflict are the tragic destinies of two heroines, fictional creations of the author. Ethanasia, Countess of Valperga, finds herself increasingly torn between loyalty to her Guelph roots and her lifelong affection for Castruccio. Beatrice, whom the author’s father, William Godwin, described as ‘the jewel of the book’, is a heretical Paterin with whom Castruccio falls in love only to abandon. This meticulously researched historical novel combines a narrative of suspense with a remarkable reconstruction of manners in the Middle Ages. Set in the period of Dante’s lifetime, it is also suffused with a poetic spirit which evokes the beauties of Italy’s physical environment and points to the melancholy inevitability of change.

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1 ) Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus

 Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 3

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein. Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature?

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Mary Shelley’s Best Books



Mary Shelley Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOverall Rank
Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus 123 1
Valperga: Or, the Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca 531 2
Lodore 812 3
Maurice; or, The Fisher’s Cot 344 3
The Last Man 655 5
Falkner. A Novel 297 6
Mathilda 786 7
Midas 968 8
Proserpine 968 8
The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck, A Romance 41010 10