In a programme first broadcast in May 2019, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Mary Shelley's (1797-1851) Gothic story of a Swiss natural philosopher, Victor Frankenstein, and the creature he makes from parts of cadavers and which he then abandons, horrified by his appearance, and never names. Rejected by all humans who see him, the monster takes his revenge on Frankenstein, killing those dear to him. Shelley started writing Frankenstein when she was 18, prompted by a competition she had with Byron and her husband Percy Shelley to tell a ghost story while they were rained in in the summer of 1816 at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva.
The image of Mary Shelley, above, was first exhibited in 1840.
Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford
Professor of Romantic Literature at Newcastle University
Professor of Victorian and Early 20th Century Literature at the University of Hull
Producer: Simon Tillotson
This programme is a repeat