Holyhead, on the island of Angelsey, which lies off the northwest coast of
Wales, in the eighteenth century had developed into the major port linking
Ireland and the British Isles. It was the
closest landing place to Dublin, with some 100
kilometers of the Irish Sea intervening. Since, however, Anglesey was an
island, passengers still had to negotiate the treacherous Menai Strait
linking it to the mainland. In 1810 Thomas Telford was
commissioned at this site to build the first suspension bridge in the
world as part of a modernization of the coach road to Holyhead.
Mary Shelley never traced this
itinerary, but Percy did, both
to and returning from his Dublin adventure via Holyhead in 1812. Mary Wollstonecraft had
also taken this route when she took up her post as governess in the Irish
seat of Lord and Lady Kingsborough in 1786.