What if Byron and the Shelleys had live tweeted from the Villa Diodati?

It’s one of the most famous – indeed infamous – episodes in English literary history. In the summer of 1816 Lord Byron took a villa on the banks of Lake Geneva. He was attended by his doctor, John William Polidori, and another nearby house was rented by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, with whomContinue reading “What if Byron and the Shelleys had live tweeted from the Villa Diodati?”

Frankenstein: Mary, monster, myth

“When I placed my head upon the pillow, I did not sleep…. My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me…. I saw – with shut eyes but acute mental vision – I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretchedContinue reading “Frankenstein: Mary, monster, myth”

Dead poets’ notoriety: Fictionalising Byron and the Shelleys

‘Tis strange,—but true; for truth is always strange;Stranger than fiction; if it could be told,How much would novels gain by the exchange!How differently the world would men behold!                                   Don Juan, Canto XIV Nowhere is truth stranger, in fact, than in aspects of Byron’s own life, not least that famous – or infamous – summer ofContinue reading “Dead poets’ notoriety: Fictionalising Byron and the Shelleys”