January 24, 2015

Body snatching and the Shelleys

I'm guessing most of you have read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Have you ever wondered about the history of the author and how she came to write such a story before she'd even turned 20 years old? Well, if you didn't um...well you probably won't be interested in what I've just read. If you did, then hold onto your hats! The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley's Masterpiece by Roseanne Montillo is the book for you! A large portion of the book is dedicated to the history of galvanism (electricity applied to muscles and its reactions) and the preoccupation of reanimation in the early 1800s. This fascination was not relegated to those in the sciences but also crossed over to the literary world as well. This is where the Shelleys come into play. Percy Bysshe Shelley, the poet, had an obsessive interest in galvanism and discussed this at length with his wife who had an equal interest in the subject and in particular, reanimation. Are you seeing where this is headed? The author discusses the history of the sciences while also delving into the marriage of these two iconic literary figures. I'd say the only thing this book was lacking was a more fleshed out appendix (remember I'm an uber nerd who actually reads these things). Other than that, I'd say this was an excellent book. It provided a lot of interesting information on an unfamiliar topic and I find myself wanting to learn more which is definitely the mark of a good book. :-)

In a move which no one could have anticipated, I've decided to read a vampire novel next. Let the Right One In is a Swedish novel by an author named John Ajvide Lindqvist. It has been adapted into two rather fantastic films (hence why I even know about this book). I'm hoping that it answers some questions that I had after seeing the films and I'm also hoping that I can come back with a favorable review for you guys! This isn't your typical vampire story, ya'll.  XD

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