5. Connections

Curious ties linked Mary Jane and her daughter to Godwin’s circle.

Margaret King, daughter of Irish nobility, had been a pupil under Mary Wollstonecraft’s care. Wollstonecraft encouraged her to aspire to education and achievements beyond the customary constrained feminine role. She became Lady Mount Cashell when she married Stephen Moore, 2nd Earl Mount Cashell. Eventually she fled the marriage and, as ‘Mrs Mason’, went to live in Pisa with her lover George Tighe and to study medicine. She became a close friend and mother figure to both Mary Godwin Shelley and Claire, passing on the inspirational care given her by Mary’s late mother. She also corresponded with Mary Jane Godwin, having written a children’s book that was published by M J Godwin and Co.

Curiously, Margaret also became the mother-in-law of Anne Matilda Trefusis (daughter of Albertina Marianna Gaulis and therefore Charles Clairmont’s first cousin), when Anne Matilda married Rev. the Hon. Edward George Moore, Canon of Windsor and the Mount Cashell’s second son. In 1841, after Mary Jane Godwin's death, Claire Clairmont moved to Pisa, where she lived with ‘Mr and Mrs Mason’. 


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