I’m very much enjoying your many and varied reading challenges/aspirations for 2012, do keep them coming!
Today I just wanted to share an amusing coincidence that I came across whilst preparing for my thesis. I’ve just started writing up my latest chapter (I make enormously detailed plans – this chapter had an 18,000 word plan – and then build them into proper paragraphs) and it includes a little bit on Frankenstein. Quite a few of you will probably be familiar with Mary Shelley’s account of how the inspiration for Frankenstein came to her, courtesy of the 1831 Preface she wrote to her 1817 novel:
When I placed my head on my pillow, I did not sleep, nor could I be said to think. My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me, gifting the successive images that arose in my mind with a vividness far beyond the usual bounds of reverie. 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. […] On the morrow I announced that I had thought of a story. I began that day with the words, It was on a dreary night of November, making only a transcript of the grim terrors of my waking dream.
At first I thought but of a few pages of a short tale; but Shelley urged me to develope [sic] the idea at greater length.
Well, having read that, check out what Edith Olivier wrote about The Love Child in her autobiography Without Knowing Mr. Walkley:
Curiously similar, no?
Just thought that might be of interest… well, it beats telling you about all the sheep puns my friend Clare and I made up today. Actually, that sounds equally interesting, now…