The De Lacey family, as seen in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, is very poor. The monster, after watching them for many months, comes to find out how they ended up in poverty.
The family is of noble French birth, but this did not keep them from being exiled from their country. Safie, Felix's love, had a father who was persecuted unjustly (it was believed to be for political motives). Felix, upon hearing of the injustice, decides to help Safie's father.
Safie's father accepts Felix's offer to help and offers his daughter's hand in return. Although Felix, in love with Safie, declines the offer of marriage, he still helps her father. After helping Safie's father to escape prison, Felix is tuned on by Safie's father. He turns in Felix (most likely because he cannot face the fact that Safie is in love with a Christian). Although the authorities cannot find Felix, they do arrest Felix's father and sister, Agatha. Even after returning to France, Felix cannot get his family out of prison. Upon release, the family is exiled from France and moves to Germany. Although Safie's father tries to insit that she return to Turkey, she refuses and seeks out Felix.