See Robinson's Introduction, specifically pages lix to lx, for a discussion of the Safie episode.
See, for instance, Bowerbank, Rubenstein, and Zonana.
In «Possessing Nature,» Mellor writes,
«Safie...is the incarnation of Mary Wollstonecraft in the novel. Wollstonecraft too traveled alone through Europe and Scandinavia; more importantly she advocated in A Vindication that women be educated as the companions of men and be permitted to participate in the public realm» (222-23). Rubenstein remarks similarly that,
«Safie's mother... is, for all practical purposes, the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Confirmation that Mary Shelley was thinking of her mother is supplied shortly after» (169). By way of contrast, Zonana connects Safie and her letters with the Arabian Nights:
«[The Arabian Nights] is ultimately the story of a woman who uses her spirit to resist being treated as pure flesh.... Safie's letters, in their thematic content, encapsulate a similar message, inherent in the monster's tale and in Mary Shelley's novel as a whole: that an animated human body is spirit as well as flesh and will demand treatment as such» (177). Zonana goes on to point out that Mary Shelley's journal records Mary reading The New Arabian Nights on June 25, 1817 (184), a point which, in light of more recent scholarship, problematizes attributing Safie to the reading of this particular text.