But for Jean Rhys as for Mary Shelley, the metaphor of book as baby fused a double anxiety, an insecurity about both her authorship and her female identity. In giving birth to a full-fledged novel, Mary Shelley was giving birth to her self-as-author. Unlike those women writers who have experienced what Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar have described as the female's "anxiety of authorship"2-a difficulty in finding a precursor or public voice in which to speak within a culture that has historically suppressed the female voice and denied the means of literary production to women-Mary Shelley did have female rolemodels to emulate: most notably her mother Mary Wollstonecraft,

such eighteenth century writers of sentimental and satiric fiction as Fanny Burney, Charlotte Ramsay Lennox, Sarah Fielding, Elizabeth Inchbald, and Amelia Alderson Opie (to whom her father had once proposed marriage), and most directly, given her commitment to a ghost story, Ann Radcliffe and the other female authors of Gothic fiction (Clara Reeve, Charlotte Dacre, Sarah Wilkinson, Sophia Lee). Yet despite this tradition of female authorship, Mary Shelley doubted the legitimacy of her own literary voice, a doubt that determined her decision to speak through three male narrators (Walton, Frankenstein, the creature), the structure of her novel, and the revisions of her text.