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Frankenstein: Mary Shelley’s Modern Prometheus

18 Oct

Who would have thought that Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the frail, delicate wife of the famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, would be responsible for writing, in 1818, what was to become one of the world’s most famous works of horror fiction, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. In her preface to this Gothic tale of terror she records that she, her husband and fellow poet the ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ Lord Byron had spent the wet summer of 1816 in Switzerland reading German ghost stories. Following this, all three agreed to write tales of the supernatural, of which hers was the only one to be completed (she also records that the original concept came to her in a half-waking nightmare).

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