Blog

Create & Learn

Page 1

03.11.2019

‘Defiant and passionate’: a new production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

by Andrew Weltch Compared to the film adaptations, stage versions of Frankenstein are surprisingly rare, despite a near-90-year head-start. Or perhaps it’s not surprising: cinema has a much greater appetite for monsters, so our screens have seen Victor’s descendants continuing his work and his creature facing various challenges and enemies in ways even Mary Shelley […]

Read More
23.08.2019

Five go mad at the Villa Diodati: Ken Russell’s ‘Gothic’

by Andrew Weltch   The creation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a fascinating tale in its own right. In the summer of 1816, Lord Byron invited fellow poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and his lover, 18-year-old Mary Godwin, to stay at the Villa Diodati near Lake Geneva, along with Mary’s’stepsister Claire Clairmont, and Byron’s physician friend […]

Read More
01.01.2019

Bringing Frankenstein back to life

by Andrew Weltch   Think of the ‘original’ cinematic Frankenstein’s monster, and the image that comes to mind is probably Boris Karloff in James Whale’s 1931 Frankenstein and its sequel Bride of Frankenstein. But you actually have to go back a further two decades for the genuine original and the creature’s first appearance on film […]

Read More
10.10.2018

“The wondrous works with which Nature adorns her chosen dwelling-places”: Following in Frankenstein’s footsteps

by Allison O’Toole   When we fall in love with a piece of literature, we want to feel closer to it. We can discuss it, read works about it, consume re-imaginings and responses and re-creations, and absorb as much as possible around its edges. But ultimately, we only have the text itself, and whatever background, […]

Read More
23.07.2018

Film reviews: Mary Shelley, directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour

by Michael Johnstone   A chief aim of Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Mary Shelley is established in the film’s opening shot: a young Mary Godwin sits on the ground against the gravestone of her mother Mary Wollstonecraft, reading a Gothic novel. From there, we will learn that Mary looks like her mother, that William Godwin taught his […]

Read More
24.01.2018

Book review: In Search of Mary Shelley, by Fiona Sampson

by Barry Forshaw   Does Mary Shelley need rescuing from neglect? Has the young woman who created the most iconic figures in Gothic literature apart from Bram Stoker’s Dracula — Frankenstein and his benighted, stitched-together creature — languished in the shadow of her husband and lover Percy Bysshe Shelley, her friend Lord Byron and her […]

Read More
08.01.2018

Mary Shelley: Through the window

by Fiona Sampson   I’ve always liked buildings. When I was a child I used to get myself to sleep by imagining palaces that I designed room by room. I like the way a building tells you its age without meaning to, because it’s been designed according to the architectural fashion of its day. I […]

Read More
07.01.2018

Book review: Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years, by Christopher Frayling

by Barry Forshaw Given that the 1st of January 2018 is a significant literary date — 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein — it is surprising (and disappointing) that this event is not enjoying more ballyhoo – but this sumptuous, over-sized volume goes some way to redressing that injustice.   Sir Christopher […]

Read More