Frankenstein's Afterlife

Frankenstein's Afterlife

Latest Episodes

1828 – The Burke and Hare murders
December 12, 2018

In 1828, Edinburgh University was the premier institution of medical science in the English speaking world. That created a demand for dead bodies to be dissected. Two enterprising Irish immigrants, William Burke and William Hare,

1827 – Jane Webb’s The Mummy!
December 11, 2018

Much like Mary Shelley, Jane Webb was a teenager mourning a death in her family when she decided to write her first novel. And much like Frankenstein, that novel laid the foundation for many features of science fiction. But The Mummy!

1826 – Henry Milner’s Frankenstein; or, the Man and the Monster!
November 21, 2018

Three years after Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption, Henry M. Milner wrote a play that might be the greatest stage adaptation of Frankenstein in the entire nineteenth century. And he accomplished it by ignoring virtually everything that Peake had do...

1825 – Mary Shelley’s The Last Man
November 05, 2018

Mary Shelley’s third book was also her only other science fiction novel, the apocalyptic The Last Man. Sources: Mary Shelley, The Last Man (Oxford World Classics):

1824 – Mary Shelley’s Valperga
October 29, 2018

With her second published novel, Mary Shelley crafted an historical novel based on Dante, Boccaccio, and Machiavelli, and in so doing she took on works by Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, and Napoleon Bonaparte. Find out all about Valperga: or,

1823 – Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption
April 02, 2018

Out of the thousands of adaptations of Frankenstein that have been made over the years, there is only one that we have a record of Mary Shelley actually seeing: Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption; or, The Fate of Frankenstein. Sources: Jeffrey N.

1822 – William Blake, of the Devil’s Party
March 05, 2018

William Blake once said that John Milton was “of the Devil’s party without knowing it.” In this episode, we consider Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667), and its legacy among the Romantics, especially the poet and illustrator William Blake. To help me out,

1821 – Walter Scott’s Ivanoe
February 18, 2018

The poet, the novelist, the chivalric romancer: in this episode, we consider the three careers of Edinburgh’s favorite literary son, Sir Walter Scott. Source: The Walter Scott Digital Archive:

1820 – Percy Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound
February 05, 2018

Mary Shelley’s husband is credited as a significant influence on her work, and rightly so. But a close look at Prometheus Unbound and a few of Percy Shelley’s other major works shows that he and his wife differed in some important ways,

1819 – John Polidori’s The Vampyre
January 14, 2018

Did you know that the precursor to Dracula originated out of the same storytelling competition as Frankenstein? And that neither story would have been written were it not for the worst climate disaster of the last millennium?