Thursday, September 29, 2011

the moon gazed on my midnight labours

I read an article yesterday saying astronomy has confirmed that Mary Shelly saw a bright gibbous moon on the night she began “Frankenstein.” In her original introduction to the book she said the moon was shining through her window deep in the night when she began her classic, but many considered the claim author hype.

Tracing back, however, an astronomer determined the window in the villa where the young lady stayed above Lake Geneva was pouring moonlight into her room between 2 and 3 am on June 16, 1816, the night she and other guests were challenged to write a ghost story.

I enjoyed this article because I was immediately up close with her in that bedroom, with the moonlight and the bedsheets and the good idea. It’s marvelous how science can inspire intimacy.

song of the day: There's a light over at the Frankenstein place


Sandy Longhorn said...

My students are reading Frankenstein right now.

I, too, was immediately in that bedroom near the window, and it struck me as even more important given the Romantic ideal of nature and the sublime and what a key role nature plays in the novel, almost a character unto itself.

Kathleen said...

What fun. Yay for the moon!

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