Frankenstein’s Conception


“Shelley has long been doubted for her version of events that led to the writing of one of the most beloved Gothic tales in the English language: That she wrote it on a challenge one night in June 1816 during a “waking dream” as the moon shone through her window.”

Detractors of Mary Shelley’s account of her inspiration for Frankenstein can cease with their skepticism. Texas astronomer, Donald Olson, has recreated the night of June 16th 1816, verifying that “a bright, gibbous moon” did indeed grace Shelley’s bedroom window just before 2 a.m. A bona fide astronomer-detective, Olson adds this to the other historical mysteries he has solved, including the date of Cesar’s invasion of Britain, and the time and place of Van Gogh’s “Moonrise.”

(Via Book Bench)

Lisa Dusenbery is the former managing editor of The Rumpus. More from this author →