‘This fatal catastrophe’: The sad life and strange death of Harriet Shelley

Early in the morning of 10th December 1816 a man called John Levesley, a pensioner of the Chelsea Hospital, was making his way to Kensington across Hyde Park when he saw something floating in the waters of the Serpentine. It was the body of a young woman. It looked, he later told the inquest, asContinue reading “‘This fatal catastrophe’: The sad life and strange death of Harriet Shelley”

Fictionalising 1816: The death of Harriet Shelley

The Shelleys and their circle have inspired hundreds of books, plays and films over the last two centuries, and there have been many accounts of that famous summer they spent together in 1816, when Frankenstein was conceived. But all the same there remain many inexplicable gaps and strange silences, where the biographers can offer usContinue reading “Fictionalising 1816: The death of Harriet Shelley”