Mary Shelley’s migraines and fatal stroke: some observations on their primary cause

Mary Shelley’s migraines and fatal stroke: some observations on their primary cause


  • Francesco Maria Galassi a:1:{s:5:"en_US";s:152:"Archaeology, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University, Humanities Building (110), GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia";}
  • Elena Varotto Università di Catania
  • Andreas Nerlich Munchen Klinik Bogenhausen
  • Raffaella Bianucci Dipartimento di Culture e Società, Università di Palermo, Palermo, Italy; The Ronin Institute, Montclair, NJ, USA.


chickenpox, eczema, history of medicine, herpes zoster, Mary Shelley, psoriasis, stroke


In this article the origins of Mary Shelley’s neurological and cerebrovascular problems are described. Through a reanalysis of her biography, her early health issues caused by a dermatological condition, potentially eczema, psoriasis or chickenpox, are related, thanks to current biomedical knowledge, to her migraines and strokes, including the one that killed her.


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How to Cite

Galassi FM, Varotto E, Nerlich A, Bianucci R. Mary Shelley’s migraines and fatal stroke: some observations on their primary cause. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2022 Mar. 14 [cited 2024 Jul. 13];93(1):e2022078. Available from: