The Hearts Of Mary Shelley

anatomical heart

“Perhaps a corpse would be reanimated… perhaps the components parts of a creature might be manufactured, brought together and endued with vital warmth.”
-Mary Shelley

On Valentine’s Day, we consider the heart. The heart is biological; it is the organ on which our life most depends. The heart is emotional, full of love and sorrow. The heart is wandering. No one knew our central muscle’s multiple meanings better than Mary Shelley.

Mary Shelley was a writer’s writer, depressive, miserable, and brilliant. So too the friends she gathered with, at the age of 18, in the spring of 1816 at two adjacent houses on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The group planned to boat about and adventure, but it was a “wet and ungenial summer,” and they instead found themselves contained indoors as the rain pounded on outside. They read aloud from Les Fantasmagoria, a French translation of a German book of horrors, and then Lord Byron, who was present, proposed that they should each compose their own horror story. Mary recused herself from this show of narrative improvisation, at least initially.

Then on June 21, 1816, Mary listened to a conversation between Percy Shelley, and Byron and it got her thinking —> Read More Here


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