WLU celebrates 200 years of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

By Natasha Muhametzyanova, Contributing Writer

Once a risky story of a young scientist and his monster, Frankenstein celebrates its 200th birthday as a literary legend. It seems time only helped Mary Shelley’s masterpiece.

For such a meaningful anniversary for the literary community, WLU organized an interdisciplinary symposium on Frankenstein which will take place from from 10 a.m. – noon, Tuesday, April 3 in the ASRC Boyle Room. The symposium will feature lectures from associate professor of biology Matthew Zdilla, assistant professor of philosophy Aaron Harper and associate professor of English Angela Rehbein.

Mark your calendars for the symposium and read on to find out little-known facts about Frankenstein.   

  1. The author of Frankenstein remained anonymous for five years.

Frankenstein was first published anonymously in 1818. The work immediately generated a lot of speculation about the author, but Mary Shelley’s name appeared on the book cover only five years later on the second edition of Frankenstein in 1823.

  1. There are over 50 Frankenstein film adaptations.

Frankenstein inspired adaptations for a big and small screen alike. Not all of them became classics. The full list of adaptations includes such bizarre titles as Dracula vs Frankenstein, Rock ‘n’ Roll Frankenstein and Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster.

  1. Frankenstein’s monster and vampires are peers.

Writer and physician John William Polidori is credited as the father of vampires in fiction. He published his story Vampyre only a year after Mary Shelley introduced the world to Frankenstein.

  1. Frankenstein became a true inspiration for amateur writers.

Fanfiction.net boasts an archive with over 271 works of fanfiction about Frankenstein. So if you ever wished for a sequel, fanfiction writers got you covered.

  1. If you thought only history belongs in a museum, think again.

Frankenstein has his own museum in Lake George, N.Y. Too scared to visit? Check it out online here.

Want to learn more? Read more about Frankenstein here and even more here.