I had hoped to begin writing today a new series on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and her Gothic romance and proto-science fiction novel Frankenstein. The occasion is the two-hundredth anniversary of her beginning the composition of Frankenstein, supposed now to have taken place on June 16, 1816, by Lake Geneva. Here in the Midwest, we have had a cool, rainy, and stormy spring season. Mary Godwin and her companions--her future husband Percy Shelley, his friend Lord Byron, Byron's physician Dr. John Polidari, and Mary's half-sister Claire Clairmont--experienced something like that as midsummer approached in 1816. Rather than go out on excursions, they stayed in and read. They also decided on a contest to write a ghost story. Frankenstein was the most famous--and enduring--result. Unfortunately, I'm caught up in other things, so the series I had planned will have to wait. In the meantime, we can all wish the creature a happy birthday.
Copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley