Celebrate the Dream that Sparked Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 200 Years Ago


The legend goes that back in the 1800’s, author Mary Shelley was traveling with her future husband, Percy Shelley, in Europe; and they, along with fellow writers Lord Byron and John Polidori, decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story.  A short while afterwards, she had a dream about a scientist who created life; and the rest, as they say, is history.

According to Leo Braudy, University Professor in English, Art History and History, at USC, Mary had her terrifying dream on June 16, 1816… exactly 200 years ago!  In the below video he tells us how it happened.

In a series of letters, Robert Walton, the captain of a ship bound for the North Pole, recounts to his sister back in England the progress of his dangerous mission. Successful early on, the mission is soon interrupted by seas full of impassable ice. Trapped, Walton encounters Victor Frankenstein, who has been traveling by dog-drawn sledge across the ice and is weakened by the cold. Walton takes him aboard ship, helps nurse him back to health, and hears the fantastic tale of the monster that Frankenstein created…




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