Happy Birthday Mary Shelley, Creator of Frankenstein!

August 30th is Frankenstein Day, a day to honour Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and her famous book Frankenstein, which is about a mad scientist named Victor Frankenstein, who gives life to a monstrous-looking creature. Shelley was born August 30th, 1797 and she published Frankenstein in 1818.

She created the story of Frankenstein, in 1816, when she and a group of friends including Lord Byron, John Polidori, and her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, spent a rainy day in Geneva telling ghost stories. That same night, Polidori created his idea for The Vampyre, which was later published in 1819.

Frankenstein is a notable Gothic romance novel, which is also one of the most read horror and science fiction stories. Even if you have not read the novel, you are probably familiar with the 'creature', as it is often portrayed in various films, magazines, cartoons and comics. Here is a list of ways to celebrate the day:

  • Read Frankenstein; if you have not already, it's a great novel.
  • Watch one of the film adaptations; there are so many to choose from; the most famous is of course is the 1931 movie starring Boris Karloff although the Kenneth Branaugh version is quite interesting as well, or you could watch the recent, James McAvoy (X-men: Days of Future Past) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) movie.
  • You could have a movie night virtually or in person (social-distancing of course).
  • Bake a cake or cookies with the iconic face of Frankenstein's creature.
  • You can also explore Mary Shelley's other works, such as her short stories or novel about an apocalyptic world, The Last Man.

If you like Frankenstein, please take a look at our Gothic fiction reading list here:

Gothic Fiction

Stories that are romantic, mysterious and scary.

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