Saturday, October 1, 2011

Frankenstein's Hour of Creation Identified by Astronomers

Mary Shelley had her idea for the novel Frankenstein in response to a challenge from Lord Byron to begin a ghost story. Scholars have accused her of fabricating how the story came to her, but astronomers have now confirmed her account.
Texas astronomers have used the light of the moon to highlight the hour of creation for Victor Frankenstein and his notorious monster – and defend the memory of their teenage creator, Mary Shelley.

The inspiration came in a waking dream between 2am and 3am on the morning of 16 June, 1816, during a stormy summer on Lake Geneva, they explain in the November issue of Sky and Telescope.

In the preface to the third edition of Frankenstein Shelley described a villa party: Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, herself and Byron's physician Polidori, and the famous challenge by Byron that each of them should begin a ghost story. She also described her repeated inability to come up with an idea until a moment of inspiration during a sleepless night in her dark room, behind closed shutters "with the moonlight struggling to get through". Read more

No comments: