daisy hay

Frankenstein, like Shelley’s Alastor, is a critique of selfish, isolated creativity… Frankenstein brings about his downfall through an act of self-aggrandising creation, which is characterized by his failure to consider the social ramifications of his actions… Frankenstein condemns much of what Byron’s Childe Harold represents: isolation, self-indulgence and an abnegation of social responsibility. It is Mary’s manifesto for the idealized community of enlightened individuals she and Shelley attempted to assemble. Her description in the elegiac Preface of the process by which Frankenstein came into being may elide some details, but it champions a method of endeavour in which ideas reach fruition through ’many a walk, many a drive, many a conversation’ – a method entirely absent from the novel itself.

Shelley played a key role in the development of Frankenstein. Together he and Mary discussed its plot, its intellectual antecedents and its emerging form… His script is interlinked with hers in the pages of the Frankenstein manuscript, transforming it into a powerful symbol of cooperative creativity.

—  Daisy Hay, from Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives

anonymous asked:

I remember you showed the Young Romantics book by Daisy Hay when you were researching WicDiv 1831, and that was quite an enjoyable read. Is there any book you'd recommend from your WicDiv 455 research?

In terms of Rome, rather than 1831 - which obviously intense and set on a small cast - I’m dealing with something much larger. As such, I started wide and looked for the bigger picture, and trends to pick up on.

So I listened through the whole of Mike Duncan’s THE HISTORY OF ROME podcast. It’s pretty good to start with, and only gets better. It’s 179 episodes, and they average 20-25 minutes long. So… two and a half days minimum of listening there. That’ll keep you busy.

I’ll think if there’s a specific book I’d like to recommend and put in my notes. It’s a tricky one, especially in working out what’s actually relevant.


Mary Shelley - A Biography

Find out more about the life of Mary Shelley and how she came to write Frankenstein, featuring writer Philip Hoare and Mary Shelley biographer Daisy Hay.