Gisborne, Maria

BORN 1770, Constantinople - DIED 1836
REAL NAME James, Maria

Daughter of a merchant, born as Maria James. She grew up in the East and married the young architect Willey Reveley in Rome when she was only eighteen years old. They both worked for the famous Jeremy Bentham and had a son, Henry.

For a few days, Maria took care of little Mary, the daughter that Mary Wollstonecraft gave birth to shorty before her death. In 1800 she refused a proposal for marriage from the widower, William Godwin (Reveley had died in 1799). She married John Gisborne instead and they went to live in Italy in 1800. The young Mary became well known as Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein and it was in Italy that Maria and Mary met again in later years. During a visit to London in 1820 she kept a diary for the Shelleys. In 1820 Mary's husband Percy Bysshe Shelley published his "Letter to Maria Gisborne".

• Son: Reveley, Henry Willey

Related persons
• has a connection with Godwin, William
• has a connection with Shelley, Mary

• St Clair, William, The Godwins and the Shelleys, Faber and Faber, London, 1990

Gisela, archduchess of Austria, princess of Bavaria

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 27 Mar 2005