Frankenstein Day takes place on the anniversary of the birth of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus, also simply known as Frankenstein. The day commemorates Shelley and her novel, which is seen as a paragon of Gothic horror and science fiction during the Romantic era. Shelley, along with her soon-to-be husband Percy Shelley, and other friends such as poet Lord Byron, decided to compete to see who could come up with the best horror story. There is a Frankenstein castle where an alchemist once lived, and it is possible this was an influence on the novel. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein reanimates human life, but he rejects his creature because of its hideous appearance, and it continues to haunt him throughout the story.
How do you celebrate National Frankenstein Day?
- Watch a movie featuring Frankenstein or read the original book written by Mary Shelly. …
- Find out who Frankenstein is on Frankenstein Friday.
- Read both editions of the book. …
- Draw your version of Frankenstein’s monster.
- Write a poem in honor of the day.
Mary Shelley created the story on a rainy afternoon in 1816 in Geneva, where she was staying with her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, their friend Lord Byron and Lord Byron’s physician, John Polidori. The group, trapped indoors by the inclement weather, passed the time telling and writing ghost stories. The ideas for both Frankenstein, and Polidori’s The Vampyre, which was published in 1819, were both born that day.
Although serving as the basis for the Western horror story and the inspiration for numerous movies in the 20th century, the book Frankenstein is much more than pop fiction. The story explores philosophical themes and challenges Romantic ideals about the beauty and goodness of nature.
Mary Shelley led a life nearly as tumultuous as the monster she created. The daughter of free-thinking philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, she lost her mother days after her birth. She clashed with her stepmother and was sent to Scotland to live with foster parents during her early teens, then eloped with the married poet Shelley when she was 17. After Shelley’s wife committed suicide in December of 1816, the couple married but spent much of their time abroad, fleeing Shelley’s creditors. Mary Shelley gave birth to five children, but only one lived to adulthood.
Mary was only 24 years old when Shelley drowned in a sailing accident; she went on to edit two volumes of his works. Aside from her earnings from writing, she lived on a small stipend from her father-in-law, Lord Shelley, until her surviving son inherited his fortune and title in 1844. She died at the age of 53.
Although Mary Shelley was a respected writer for many years, only Frankenstein and her journals are still widely read. Source: History