Tag Archives: Mary Shelley

Our February Ghost, Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley, Conjuring Her Ghost on February 1st.

Tuesday’s Tale    January 30, 2018

 

Mary Shelley’s ghost is ever-present. And we are breathing life back into her ghost in 2018. As literary ghosts go, we hear stories of Hemingway haunting his Key West home with his typewriter tapping away; Ben Franklin’s statue sometimes walks along the Philadelphia streets; Poe is said to haunt his favorite bar in Baltimore and the staff leave out a glass of whiskey for him at closing time; Dylan Thomas has been seen drinking at the White Horse Tavern in New York.

But for our esteemed Mary Shelley, where is her ghost these days? Shall we conjure her back to us on the anniversary of her death, February 1st?

 

Mary Shelley died February 1, 1851. And all this year, 2018, we are marking the bicentennial of her greatest novel Frankenstein, published January 1818. There are global celebrations going on (Global Frankenstein Celebrations), blogs, events, podcasts, and radio shows, all commemorating this woman writer of horror and mother of science fiction.  We have a wealth of conscious thought active about her life, her triumphs, her stories, and her literary powers. And February is Women In Horror Month. 

 

 

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Did you know that Mary Shelley, and her husband, were highly intrigued on the use of electricity to animate human limbs? At the time of the writing of Frankenstein, an alchemist named Johann Konrad Dippel, was reported to have robbed graves and performed experiments on corpses at Frankenstein Castle (Burg Frankenstein). This castle sits above the Rhine Valley on Odenwald, a mountain in southern Germany, near the city of Darmstadt. More here about Mary Shelly and Frankenstein Castle at ExploringCastles.com.

 

 

 

More on Castle Frankenstein and the Shelleys in my earlier blog, Feb. 2016: “A Lump of Death.”  

 

Mary Shelley wrote lots of short stories, several which you can read featured on past dates on this blog by clicking the title:

 The Invisible Girl, October 15, 2013

The Mortal Immortal, February 26, 2013

Transformation, February 4, 2014

The Last Man  February 8, 2016

On Ghosts, October 15, 2013

And here’s a short one you probably haven’t read:  The Evil Eye, free read at Gutenberg.netAustralia.

Because I love ghost stories, I wrote a ghost story about Mary Shelley, Beyond Castle Frankenstein, published in the anthology Journals of Horror, Found Fiction, edited by Terry M. West, published by Pleasant Storm Entertainment. [Available at Amazon.com ( https://www.amazon.com/Journals-Horror-Terry-M-West/dp/1508805725 ) ]. Here’s a peek into my short story: A letter is found written by Mary Shelley. Mary recounts a night when she attempts to conjure up the ghost of her dead husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

 

Mary Shelley is buried in St. Peter’s Churchyard in Bournemouth, Dorset England. Read her biography here at The Poetry Foundation.org.  

 

“I busied myself to think of a story, — a story to rival those which had excited us to this task. One which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror—one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart. If I did not accomplish these things, my ghost story would be unworthy of its name.” (Introduction to Frankenstein, 1831)

 

Watch the adaptation of Frankenstein, 2004, with William Hurt, PART 1.

 

 

And Part 2.

 

[Image by Esao Andrews oil on wood, 2010. Young Mary Shelley. Visit Andrews website here.]

 

“Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through,and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.” 

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, supernatural, ghost stories,  suspense, crime, sci-fi, and ‘quiet horror.’ Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month. Comments and LIKES are welcome. 

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian      HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed 

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Filed under classic horror stories, dark fantasy, fiction, ghost stories, ghost story blogs, Gothic fiction, Gothic Horror, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, mysteries, occult, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, science fiction, short stories, short story blogs, soft horror, supernatural fiction, supernatural mysteries, tales of terror, Women In Horror, Women in Horror Month

Beyond Castle Frankenstein – A Lump of Death

Beyond Castle Frankenstein

 

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Burg Frankenstein, Darmstadt, Germany

My short story Beyond Castle Frankenstein about Mary Shelley is FREE for five days on Amazon.com. The story is in the anthology of supernatural short stories Journals of Horror, Found Fiction, edited by Terry M. West, published by Pleasant Storm Entertainment.

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Chapel at Burg Frankenstein, Darmstadt, Germany

 

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What is this scene? Mary Shelley’s husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley’s cremation, painted by Louis Edouard Fournier (The Funeral, 1889). Did you know that Shelley’s heart did not burn? Mary Shelley kept the remains of her husband’s heart, her treasured lump of death, in a handkerchief for years. Want to read the story about it? Beyond Castle Frankenstein is a ghostly one, I can promise you that. Get it FREE on Amazon at the link below.

 

51z6n2fVkHL._AA160_JOURNALS OF HORROR, FOUND FICTION.  This anthology is filled with some of the hottest new talent in the horror and supernatural fiction genre: P.D. Cacek, Todd Keisling, Glenn Rolfe, Robin Dover, DS Ullery, Essel Pratt, Michael Thomas-Knight, John Ledger, Paul D. Marks, Sonja Thomas, Paula Cappa, Stuart Keane, Darryl Dawson, Crystal Leflar, Lori R. Lopez, Michael Seese, Jeff O’Brien, Matt Hayward, Joseph Ramshaw, Michael McGlade, DJ Tyrer, Wesley Thomas, Regina West, Evan Purcell, Robert McGough, Erik Gustafson, Christopher Alan Broadstone and Robert Holt.

 

Get the FREE Kindle Ebook to read Beyond Castle Frankenstein:

Journals of Horror, Found Fiction on Amazon.com

FREE  February 19 to February 23, 2016.

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Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem to his wife in 1818  “To Mary …”

O Mary dear, that you were here
With your brown eyes bright and clear,
And your sweet voice, like a bird
Singing love to its lone mate
In the ivy bower disconsolate;
Voice the sweetest ever heard!
And your barrow more ….
Than the … sky
Of this azure Italy.
Mary dear, come to me soon,
I am not well whilst thou art far:
As sunset to the sphered moon.
As Twilight to the western star,
Thou, beloved, are to me.

O Mary Dear, that you were here;
The Castle echo whispers “Here!”

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Burg Frankenstein, Darmstadt, Germany

Mary Shelley sailed the Rhine in 1814 and saw Burg Frankenstein from the boat. Some speculate that she visited the castle and chapel and this was the setting that inspired her novel Frankenstein.

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Shelley-Godwin Archives

The Mary Shelley Resource Website.

MaryShelley.com Sources

Guess what’s happening in January 2018?

The BICENTENNIAL of the publication Frankenstein.

Arizona State University will be at the forefront of the Frankenstein bicentennial celebration.  “Mary Shelley wrote ‘Frankenstein’ on a dare, and we imagine dares in which writers across the planet – 18-year-olds like Mary Shelley was, as well as established authors – will compete to create stories or novels of the future Prometheus,” said Ed Finn, co-lead and director. “We imagine leading discussions about science, art, horror and imagination in salons and laboratories modeled after those of 1818, 2018, and 2118.” For more information on ASU’s Frankenstein Bicentennial celebration, visit http://frankenstein.asu.edu.

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[Frontispiece by artist Theodor Van Holst, Frankenstein, 1831 edition ]

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Mary Shelley, Queen of the Gothic Thriller (WIHM)

The Last Man  by Mary Shelley   Women In Horror Month (WIHM)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  February 9, 2016

 

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Mary Shelley is the first name that comes to mind when we think of women who write horror and Gothic fiction. Did you know that when her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley was cremated, his heart would not burn? Some say it was because of a health condition; others say it was because of Mary’s deep love for him. Percy’s friend Edward Trelawny snatched it from the cremation fires. Legend has it that Mary kept the dried up remains in her desk. I wrote about this in my short story Beyond Castle Frankenstein, a historical ghost story.

 And while I’m fascinated by Mary Shelley as a writer and her fictional worlds, I am also still discovering her work, and this week honoring her for Woman In Horror Month. You can read three of her short stories here, free, at Tales of Terror:

Tarnsformationimages

 

 

The Invisible Girl

The Mortal Immortal

Transformation

 

 

 

 

One of her novels not so popular and these days overlooked if not completely forgotten is The Last Man. This is a bleak portrayal of the fall of mankind (isolation, loss, a plague); the title gives away the ending. Published in 1826 (written after her husband’s death), it received terrible reviews, but was Mary’s favorite novel (semi-autobiographical). It was republished in 1965 to far more critically acclaimed praises.

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Readers who love apocalyptic stories–future time around 2100—might love it, but it is indeed a dense read (the book doesn’t get really hit until about page 200). Frankenstein is clearly the better novel.

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The Introduction to the novel states that in the winter of 1818, the author visited Naples, Italy. With a friend, she toured the Elysian Fields and Avernus and entered a dark and rocky cave. “The passage, which at first scarcely admitted us, quickly grew narrower and lower; we were almost bent double; yet still we persisted in making our way through it.”

They arrived at an ascent and then another and scrambled through it until they reached an arched roof. The only sign that life had been there was a “perfect snow-white skeleton of a goat …”

Shelley says, “At length my friend, who had taken up some of the leaves strewed about, exclaimed, “This is the Sibyl’s cave; these are Sibylline leaves.”

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Entrance to the cave of Sibyl.

“On examination, we found that all the leaves, bark, and other substances, were traced with written characters.” The characters were writings in various languages: ancient Chaldee, Egyptian hieroglyphics, some in modern dialects, English and Italian. “We could make out little by the dim light, but they seemed to contain ancient written prophecies.”

Shelley states that she translated, adapted, and edited these writings on the leaves into the first-person narrative of a man, Lionel Verney, living during the last years of the 21st century. Here are the opening lines:

“I AM the native of a sea-surrounded nook, a cloud-enshadowed land, which, when the surface of the globe, with its shoreless ocean and trackless continents, presents itself to my mind, appears only as an inconsiderable speck in the immense whole; and yet, when balanced in the scale of mental power, far outweighed countries of larger extent and more numerous population. So true it is, that man’s mind alone was the creator of all that was good or great to man, and that Nature herself was only his first minister.”

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[Image by Andy  Factor]

Read The Last Man at RomanticCirclesUniversityofMaryland.edu

Listen to the audio book at YouTube.com.

 

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“What terrified me will terrify others; and I need only

describe the spectre which had haunted my midnight pillow.” –Mary Shelley

 [Portrait by artist Esao Andrew. Visit Esao Andrew blog and website. ]

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Want to check out more blogs and events for  Women in Horror Month?  WomenInHorrorMonth.com 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror.

 This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories.

Join me in reading one short story every week!

Comments are welcome.

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

 

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Valentine’s Day Ghostly Romance, Short Story

99 cents!!! This weekend only on Amazon, KINDLE. “Beyond Castle Frankenstein” for Valentine’s Day.  A Ghostly Romance.
Fact: Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, kept her husband’s calcified heart in a silk handkerchief for years after he died. What a romance she had with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Do you know who removed P.B. Shelley’s heart from the cremation fires because the organ refused to burn? Read the fictionalized short story of the author and the poet, a perfect Valentine’s Day romance with a ghostly twist.

fournier

 

[Image is “The Funeral” by Louis Edward Fournier, 1889, a rendering of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s cremation.]

“Beyond Castle Frankenstein” is my short story published in JOURNALS OF HORROR, FOUND FICTION ANTHOLOGY, PUBLISHED BY PLEASANT STORM ENTERTAINMENT, EDITOR TERRY M. WEST.

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Percy_Bysshe_Shelley_by_Alfred_Clint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy the anthology on Amazon.com for 99 cents this Valentine’s weekend only.

Lots of horror stories for your weekend reading.

 

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Beyond Castle Frankenstein: Ghost Story About Mary Shelley

“The ascent was precipitous, my journey a melancholy one to the ruins of Castle Frankenstein. The rough-hewn rock mansion of the turrets and towers perched on a craggy hilltop over the Rhine in Darmstadt, Germany …”

 

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This is the opening to my newest short story Beyond Castle Frankenstein, published in Journals of Horror: Found Fiction, a premier anthology, published by Terry M. West and Pleasant Storm Entertainment. These short stories are inspired by the mechanics of the found footage films, and the first anthology of “found fiction” in literature, breaking new ground in the short story supernatural genre.  It is a collection of some new voices in dark fiction as well as  authors who you might know haunting the horror genre:  Todd Keisling’s Human Resources, who won Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book Award of 2013 for  THE LIMINAL MAN; Glenn Rolfe’s Killing Jessica, his ABRAM’S BRIDGE and BOOM TOWN, soon to be published by Samhain Publishing; Wesley Thomas’ There’s Something In My House; Lori R. Lopez’ The Devil’s Irony; and of course Terry M. West’s Bagged, Tagged & Buried, esteemed author of numerous short stories and novels, filmmaker, artist, and finalist for the 1997 International Horror Guild Award for THE NIGHT OUT, and 1999 Bram Stoker Award ballot nominee. Lots more authors and stories in this anthology that thrill and kill.

Beyond Castle Frankenstein is a historical ghost story about Mary Shelley. The chapel pictured below is the site where an old painting (named Casa Magni) hung for years and is found by art collector Robert Beauclerk. Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley lived in a house named Casa Magni in 1822 in Italy. What Beauclerk discovers in this painting is more than phantom art and more than the ghosts of the past.

I based the story from Shelley’s biographical notes and letters: Mary and her husband had visited the Castle Frankenstein while boating down the Rhine. Some biographers believe the Castle Frankenstein was the inspiration for her novel Frankenstein.

 

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Journals of Horror: Found Fiction is available on Amazon (ebook), on sale at 99 cents now through December 1st (29 stories for 99 cents!).  At this writing, you can find Journals of Horror: Found Fiction on the best seller list at No. 7 in Kindle horror anthologies.

 Buy it here on Amazon.com.

 

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Beyond Castle Frankenstein in Journals of Horror: Found Fiction

SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGIES are having a lively come back, and Journals of Horror: Found Fiction is one that breaks out of the boundaries. And it’s just released today on Amazon.

Here’s a peek into my story Beyond Castle Frankenstein.

images-1A letter is found written by Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein). Mary recounts a night when she attempts to conjure up the ghost of her dead husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

 

Terry M. West and Pleasant Storm Entertainment, Inc. present a revolutionary approach to the horror fiction anthology. Found Fiction is a collection of terror inspired by the mechanics of the found footage horror film and this anthology is the first of its kind in literature. Some of the talent here are authors Michael Thomas-Knight, Wesley Thomas, Michael McGlade, Indie Book Award Finalist Todd Keisling, DS Ullery, Paula Cappa, and some twenty more new voices in the supernatural, mystery, and paranormal genres.

Journals of Horror: Found Fiction, on Amazon.com in Ebook for Kindle. Print edition to be released soon.

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Necromantic Adventures in Genoa

Transformation  by Mary Shelley  (1831)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   February 4, 2014   Women in Horror Month (WiHM)

If any author could successfully mix romance with fiendish pride and the power of evil, it’s Mary Shelley. Frankenstein is not considered supernatural, but Transformation certainly is a necromantic adventure.

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For never was a story of more woe than Juliet and her Guido (if I may borrow the line from Shakespeare).  We are not in  Romeo and Juliet’s fair Verona; we are in Genoa. Juliet and Guido have been in love since childhood and have pledged to marry. She is angel-faced and loyal. He is rich, handsome, and worldly. Because Guido squanders his wealth, falls into the trap of vanity, and engages in violence, the authorities ban him from Genoa on pain of death.

Mad with loneliness, guilt, and struggling with regret, he wanders the seaside during the darkest of storms. Here he meets a mysterious dwarf  …

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‘The voice of the wretch was screeching and horrid, and his contortions as he spoke were frightful to behold. Yet he did gain a kind of influence over me, which I could not master, and I told him my tale. When it was ended, he laughed long and loud: the rocks echoed back the sound: hell seemed yelling around me. …

His supernatural powers made him an oracle in my eyes; yet a strange unearthly thrill quivered through my frame as I said, “Speak!–teach me–what act do you advise?”’

This hideous dwarf (a cousin of Lucifer?) makes our poor Guido an offer he cannot refuse.

Read Transformation at Columbia.Edu

Listen to the short story at Librivox (scroll down to Number 10)

WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH, February 2014

1796515_10152579730360558_1087184371_nMany of you know February is Women in Horror Month (WiHM). Each Tuesday I will be featuring all women authors from the 19th century and posting a recommendation of a contemporary author as well. Women are under-represented in this genre and the goal of WiHM is to encourage reading, recognition, and support of women horror authors. So I encourage you to read women authors this month, buy their short stories, their novels, and recognize the talents of so many women writers that have been overlooked and underrated.

To that aim, I’d like to recommend award-winning author Susan Hill. Hill is a British author of novels and short stories. The Woman in Black is a dark atmospheric novel, a winner of a ghost story, historical, and a cunning mystery. You might also like these ghost stories: Printer’s Devil Court (short story), The Small Hand, The Man in the Picture, Dolly, Hunger (short story), Man in the Mist.

Visit Susan Hill’s Web site in the UK.   82px-93,370,0,276-Susanhill-007

Check out what Julienne Snow has to say about WiHM at Dark Media.

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Sirens Call Publications

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer   For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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