Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mary Shelley, Vindicated

Poor Mary Shelley.  The doubts about her great creation Frankenstein began as soon as it was published.  Some people attributed it to her not-yet-husband and even when she was acknowledged as the writer she was slammed.  She was, after all, just a girl.  The legend of her writing it -- the challenge between Mary and her companions (Shelley, not yet her husband; her step-sister Claire; Lord Byron; and Byron's doctor, John William Polidori) -- has long been considered just that, a legend.  It's one of the most written about and filmed nights in history, so much so that when Julian Farino made his biopic Byron for the BBC in 2003 (starring the beautiful Jonny Lee Miller) he wisely skipped that part.

One thing that skeptics have had an especially hard time with is Mary Shelley's romantic description of beginning her tale in "a waking dream" with a "bright and shining moon" glowing in her window.  Her version of events was dismissed as marketing, a way to sell more books.  Recently, though, science has backed her up.  Texas State University astronomy professor Donald Olson released his findings that she was right about the moon, just in time for Halloween.  Cool.

So what does today's video have to do with Mary Shelley?  Well, they're performing "Frankenstein" by the Edgar Winter Group in Rome where she lived briefly.  Stretching it?  Okay, I just like the USC marching band.   


  1. Great story and energetic video. Do you know the background of the song? Why is it entitled "Frankenstein"?

  2. According to Edgar Winter and the kind people at Songfacts.com it had to do with the editing process. You can read about it here.



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