At the age of 19 on a June night, Mary, Percy, John Polidori and Lord Byron were staying at a country estate and there was a terrific storm. Byron suggested they all write scary stories. That night Mary conceived of Frankenstein (and Polidori started the first book on Vampires).
Instead of reading Frankenstein again, which I do sometimes when the itch hits me, this year I'm reading a new to me book about "the curse" of Frankenstein and that night called The Monsters: Mary Shelly and the Curse of Frankenstein.
This book basically tells the story of all involved that night, including the back story of their parents and upbringing. Mary was the daughter of famous political writers, Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin. Both parents believed in the full rights of women. They didn't believe in marriage and encouraged open relationships Godwin also believed that women and men were not supposed to live together. He felt that each person's privacy and peace was more important.
It's been many, many years since I read the biography of Mary Shelley, and I'm sure I've forgotten most if it. I'm only still at the beginning of the books but so far I have already read some pretty crazy stuff. For example: When Mary's mother was dying after she gave birth to her, they thought her milk was poisoning her and put puppies on her breasts to drain the milk. Um, what?
My obsession right now with Frankenstein has, of course, also resulted in a Frankenstein Pinterest board, too. Some neat images are there. Check it out.
I love Frankenstein. There's something so romantic and fulfilling about old Gothic lit. Frankenstein truly is a complicated wonderful gem.
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