January 25, 2013 at 3:52 am #135824nonnieParticipant
THOUGHT THIS WAS FUN
COULD NOT FIND THE RSS FEED DIRECT
.[adrotate group="5"]January 26, 2013 at 1:55 am #170022
Thanks for posting this, Nonnie. it was very interesting. There’s a good deal more discussion of Shelley’s inspiration for Frankenstein in Richard Holmes’ excellent book, The Age of Wonder. He devotes several chapters to the life of Humphrey Davy, whose electrical experiments were mentioned in the podcast and even has a chapter devoted to the origin of the Frankenstein story entitled, “Dr. Frankenstein and the Soul.”
In addition to the influences mentioned in the podcast, Holmes tells the story of Dr. William Lawrence, a physician who was the leading opponent to the ideas of Vitalism, or “animal electricity” in the early 19th Century. Lawrence expanded on the late 18th Century work of Benjamin Franklin and Antoine Lavosier which had debunked the “animal magnetism” Vitalism claims of Franz Anton Mesmer. Lawrence denounced the more mystical claims of a “vital principle” or “Life Force” made by Galvani and Aldini. He argued that the results of their experiments were due entirely to normal electrical activity on nerve and muscle tissue. He wrote in 1819,
“To make the matter more intelligible, this vital principle is compared to magnetism, to electricity, and to galvanism; or it is roundly stated to be oxygen. ‘Tis like a camel, or like a WHALE , or like what you please…”
(I couldn’t resist adding the emphasis on whale.)
Why is Lawrence so important? Because in 1815 he became the personal physician of Percy Bysshe Shelley and spent a significant amount of time with both Percy and Mary Shelley. He may have told her a great deal about the work of Aldini and others, although there were other influences as well. Percy Shelley had been writing about current scientific advances for several years and Mary Shelley had been taken to one of Humphrey Davy’s public lectures by her father in 1812, when she was only fourteen.
Six years after that lecture, Mary Shelley would write the novel that not only gave us the other identity of Dr. Whale but, in this passage expressing the Feelings of the Creature, could almost sound like the voice of Rumplestiltskin or Regina:
“When I call over the frightful catalogue of my deeds, I cannot believe that I am he whose thoughts were once filled with sublime and transcendent visions of the beauty of the world. “January 26, 2013 at 6:39 am #170042nonnieParticipant
Time Spacer that is interesting information. I think this is one reason I love OUAT it helps me expand into areas of knowledge and information I had not thought about in years. When I went to college ( eons ago) I use to read about every subject that caught my fancy. After college I got caught in the trap of narrowing the focus of my studies. It has just been recently I am getting into the habit of reading and listening ( audio books and podcast) about subjects that I have not investigated.
I will try to read the book you mentioned as I have accessed to the local college library through my daughter. It would be fun to follow up on your recommendation.
.January 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm #170063
After college I got caught in the trap of narrowing the focus of my studies. It has just been recently I am getting into the habit of reading and listening ( audio books and podcast) about subjects that I have not investigated.
I sympathise. I had the same problem. Even when I was in college, I had so little free time that most of my reading was very narrowly focused and it seemed to get worse afterward. It’s only recently that I’ve been lucky enough to find a job that actually affords me a little free time now and then. I hope you get a chance to enjoy the book!February 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm #171462
I found this review of a book to be published this week which gives more background on Mary Shelley’s creation of “the original Dr. Whale”! The book is The Lady and Her Monsters by Roseanne Montillo. The review is at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/books/review/the-lady-and-her-monsters-by-roseanne-montillo.html?nl=books&emc=edit_bk_20130201&_r=0February 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm #171475MyrilParticipant
Thanks, Nonnie and TimeSpacer for the interesting links. Who says, entertainment is just there to make people numb and dumb. 😉 Just imagine some physics teacher asking class, if they watched Once Upon and wondered about the science refered to in it – and starts a lesson in physics and science history.
The book is definitely on my wish list now.
¯\_(?????? ?)_/¯February 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm #171657c2clarkParticipant
Can somebody please explain the whole Frankenstein thing please. Some of the stories aren’t in the book like Henry said, does anyone know why? It’s been bugging me.February 6, 2013 at 2:00 am #171704
Can somebody please explain the whole Frankenstein thing please. Some of the stories aren’t in the book like Henry said, does anyone know why? It’s been bugging me.
Jefferson said, “There are many worlds. Some have magic, some don’t.” Henry’s book was presumably written by someone from the Enchanted Forest since it mainly describes that world (although it also mentions Jefferson’s trip to Wonderland and has a page showing flying monkeys, suggesting Oz.) But Regina said, “I brought who I wanted” so she seems to have been able to bring people from some of those other worlds.
It’s interesting that, as you point out, Henry was also surprised that Dr. Frankenstein was in Storybrooke and not in the book. It appears David never told him Dr. Whale’s identity after the events in “The Doctor”, although Henry did know about Daniel and the fact that Regina used magic to return him to the dead – she mentions it in her conversation with Henry in “Into the Deep.”
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