Lord Byron, Rick Red Frankenstein, John Polidori discussed on Speaking of Art
Unfortunately, he latches himself onto a man whose personality is very set. He's very confident. He is Lord Byron he's world famous, and he's absolutely cannibalized by this, man. I mean, he just he aspires to be with the great. He wants his personal physician. He's traveling with him in the monstrosity as they said at the time of Byron's coach, which is a a copy of Napoleon's coach remember this less than a year after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in mid June of eighteen fifteen Byron is already. Built a or had built a coach exa- an exact replica of Napoleon's coach and he's traveling around Europe as an exile with us polling. Dory is with him share in the travels, but quickly becomes the butt of of Byron's jokes, and the sort of uneven relationship is something that becomes very diseased with Polidori, but he was a clever man look up online, incredibly handsome fell he'd be an actor today. I guess if you were to be played in a movie, George Clooney a number of years ago when he was just starting out as an actor as a young man, he would have been a wonderful Polidori. I mean, he was that good looking very talented any rights the story when they all go off and the village Edadi and Byron tells them think of your own story, we're gonna come back and share them the story, the Polidori, thanks is the vampire, the A N P Y R A that book is. Published in eighteen nineteen. It's actually very short. I think it only runs about sixty or seventy pages. But it is considered the first treatment of vampirism in English literature in in eighteen nineteen. I would actually dispute that I would say, and I say this all humility because it's not strictly speaking a vampire story. And certainly the word is is never used. But in the poem by Samuel Taylor. College of Christabel from eighteen sixteen there's a relationship between the young woman being fraught with the by ghost basically taking kind of like an incubus taking her life away. And it's been sort of quoted to amperage in a way. So I guess you could sort of in a litter literary way sort of dispute that and say, we'll maybe Christabel the poem by college of eighteen sixteen is actually I example of Amazon in English literature. Be that as it may say Polidori book is novel the vampire eighteen nineteen. Is the first. So we've got that by centennial coming up, and a lot has been written about that that the vampire the Lord ruthven is actually Lord Byron. In fact, people thought it was by Lord Byron many times when you were the author of a book that you knew was going to be somewhat controversial, even scandalous. You did not put your name to it or the publisher wouldn't put your name on it. And that's what happens with policy, you'll see a first addition of Polidori, the vampire, there's no mention of John Polidori there at all people assumed it was Byron. In fact, he's even put down at the time that this is. So he received a lot of criticism for that. He said, I didn't write it. I wouldn't write anything this elementary or stupid. You know, in basically, actually, it's not that bad story. It's it's fairly entertaining. It gives you the rough structure of the vampire story as we know it over the ages. It's a very good effort by a man, who is a brilliant physician who wanted to. Be more and had the terrible misfortune of throwing his lot in with a man much greater much more famous than himself, and it consumed him dies of young age not long afterwards at a young age. And it's Burkey Las or just they recall, brain, fever, basically, he just had sudden death and he dies, but a brilliant, man. So we owe him the vampire the story of the vampire coming out two hundred years ago again from that very famous night. Oh, and what what adviser in Penn? Well, he started a poem that he really didn't complete at the time that was again kind of like about a ghost story. And but he didn't really didn't really devote much time to it. What he does right in from the summer of eighteen sixteen is a wonderful collection of poems called on the prisoner of she'll and other poems comes out in December of eighteen sixteen. You can actually buy first addition of it. In pretty good shape for about two hundred three hundred dollars. Maybe a little bit little say in the three to four hundred dollar range for good example of it. This is a very economical way to be able to buy something that evokes the summer of eighteen sixteen that was the birth of Frankenstein another way to do it as a book that that Mary Shelley and Percy wrote about their travels to meet Byron where they wind up on the shores of of Lake Geneva, their traveled through the Netherlands in Germany, leaving England comes out in a book of wandering through Germany, the comes out. I think about that time also and a lot of the ideas and the sites in the way, they describe things in that collaborative work, which you can buy probably for under a thousand dollars. You know, a lot different from the hundred and twenty thousand dollars for I addition of Frankenstein for eighteen eighteen but a lot of the sites the climate. The overall the aura of Frankenstein, you can detect it you pick it up in that book that travelogue which was very popular form of literature, by the way, these travelogues that women's spearheaded really in the eighteenth century in the early nineteenth century, Mary Shelley's own mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, Shelley in a talked about this with with Rick and the previous hour isn't a sort of a scandalous love affair with a businessman who's traveling around. He breaks it off. She follows him to Sweden. Finally, you know, they have their confrontation, it doesn't work out. So she is not only embarrassed herself. She's now, you know, she has a daughter. She's young Mary. I'm sorry. She's she she's a she has a daughter another child, and she doesn't have any money. And what does she do? She finally finds her way back and turns, you know, takes lemons and make lemonade out of it and writes travelogue in this was a very acceptable genre. Of literary writing at in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that and also stories of the supernatural just think of Ann Radcliffe Maria Edgeworth and others popular novelist late seventeen hundreds and early eighteen hundreds really the women dominated in these spears. And so what did she do? She was able to recoup some of her losses at least financial by writing that travelogue. Mary's mother did so Mary and Percy write their own version in the summer of eighteen sixteen on their honesty. And that's an economical way of capturing something of the order of Frankenstein from that summer. Well, wow, I didn't mean to digress. Quite so long with that. But these important literary by Centennial's, I think are culturally I think they're important because they're able to grab our interests. They can be the catalyst that makes us want to learn more. And that's where genius is that's what really drives our creativity. Not as you know, Rick, Phil. Gary were saying during their show when you are forced to read something say as a student sometimes by luck, you know, a teacher English teacher tells you to read something you actually love it. And maybe you've got a great teacher. And like I was able to have teachers like that you've probably had teachers like that who are catalysts for you. Maybe for the rest of your life up to up to the present. I was lucky to be able to have that a lot of people didn't have that. You know, you're forced to read something you can't stand it. But have that many people who read catcher in the rye because they were forced to read it in school and loved it and read it again as Rick red Frankenstein in his mature years in the impact, the secondary impact that that KOTA that comes when you read something and really understand it later on when you're ripe for it. Frankenstein is a book like that one thing I will say I did something really need a few years ago. I think it was in. Around thanksgiving. Twenty fifteen we were going to my sister-in-law's house and her wonderful family in Ithaca, New York, and I made arrangements at the wonderful special collections library of Cornell University.