Thursday, June 16, 2016

Two Hundred Years of Frankenstein

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


  1. Wow! The two hundredth anniversary of Frankenstein snuck up on me. Thanks for the reminder.
    You've still got a couple of years before the bicentennial of the book's publication, so maybe that'll give you time to produce your planned tributes to the tale of the Modern Prometheus.

    1. Hi, Mike,

      It's good to hear from you. I wonder if the literary world has a bicentennial celebration planned for 2018.

      I'm working on something with my family right now, but once this job is done, I'll write about Frankenstein and Mary Shelley.

      Thanks for writing.

      Terence Hanley