Today in Lit – July 28

Going back to 1814 today, the poet Percy Shelley eloped with a girl just 17 years old, named Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. Why do we remember this? Well, it just so happened that they Shelleys were good friends with a certain Lord Byron. As it happens, one day they challenged each other to each write a fantastic ghost story. Mary was actually the only one in the group to complete her story, creating a fearsome character we have made infamous decades later: Frankenstein!

Now, if you’re wondering how a gentle woman like Shelley could come up with such a monster, we merely need to look at her

influences. The most obvious was a scientist, Johann Konrad Dippel. Before his death, Dippel had made plans to purchase an old castle in Germany named Castle Frankenstein. The work that

Dippel carried out included reviving still hearts, which to Mary might have seemed like bringing back the dead! Read more about it here.

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