On the evening of June 14, 1816, all decided to play a game: the result was Frankenstein

At the Villa Diodati in Switzerland on Lake Geneva:

During the spring and summer of 1816, the house is rented by Lord Byron, accompanied by John William Polidori, his doctor and “drudge”.

Near the house, lives the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and his mistress Mary Godwin who became his wife shortly after.

The couple makes frequent visits to Byron, exchanging about art and science.

On the evening of June 14, 1816, all decided to play a game: each of them has to write a ghost story. Very quickly, Shelley gives up and Byron drafts a story that will be published later. Polidori would have invented a story about a lady with a skull head, punished for having watched by a keyhole.

The major work resulting from this evening is Frankenstein, from the pen of Mary Shelley, who is just eighteen.

Completed on April 17, 1817, the novel is published on March 11, 1818 by the John Murray, editor. The author was unamed. The title: “Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus”. A reference to Mary’s husband’s “Prometheus Unbound”.

The month the novel is published, Walter Scott writes in his review of the Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine that the story is inhabited by “an extraordinary poetic imagination.”





Explore posts in the same categories: artists, literature

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