The Mortal Immortal by Mary Shelley (1834)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror February 26, 2013
Who is the first queen of horror? With February’s Women in Horror Month concluding this week, this blog would not be complete without featuring Mary Shelley. Her Frankenstein hasn’t been out of print since 1818. She died at the young age of 53 on February 1st, 1851.
The Mortal Immortal is a twisted love story of human desires, passion, a dash of science, ageing and death. There is some melodrama here with writing like “our days were winged by joy, and “the hours danced away.” But this tale of woe is so well executed, you will find yourself wholeheartedly fascinated.
Our story opens with Winzy on his anniversary—“I complete my three hundred and twenty-third year!”
Okay, so you’re thinking vampire, right? Think again. We have an alchemist named Cornelius who invents an elixir that is a curative. Winzy is his apprentice. Winzy is driven by his love for a beautiful young woman Bertha—who is not so enchanted with Winzy. Her scorn and disappointment of Winzy is a heartbreak for him. Because Winzy idolizes Bertha to a fault, he drinks Cornelius’ elixir, hoping it will cure his love for Bertha and set him free of his obsession. Ahh, but can anyone really become immune to love? And what is life without love?
This elixir is more than potent. Winzy does not know how far its curative measures will go. Will Bertha love him now? Will he care? Winzy finds himself in a cruel dilemma. And poor Bertha!
Behold the vanity of human wishes. And Winzy’s wishes at the end make this a truly macabre tale.
Read it here:
Leave a comment if you liked The Mortal Immortal. Stop back next Tuesday for another Tale of Terror.