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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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06.06.2016

Review: Frankenstein, at the Royal Opera House, London

by Anna Mercer I bought tickets for Frankenstein at the Royal Opera House quite late; I was unsure of the concept when the first advertisements went out. The National Theatre’s production of Frankenstein in 2011 had disappointed me in its overbearing narrative of creature-as-child (something which obviously originates from Shelley’s novel, but which she presents […]

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11.01.2016

The haunting of Percy Bysshe Shelley

by Lynn Shepherd This fiend, whose ghastly presence ever Beside thee like thy shadow hangs… Percy Bysshe Shelley was many things: a poet, a political radical and pamphleteer, a philosophical thinker, and a faithless husband. He was also – and this may come as a surprise – obsessed with the occult, and this fixation with […]

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