The Gothic Imagination

The Gothic Imagination

Two seminal gothic horror stories, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula

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The Gothic Imagination: Bloody Poetry

The Gothic Imagination: Bloody Poetry

In Switzerland 1816, by the shore of Lake Geneva, the poet Shelley and his future wife Mary, together with her step-sister Claire, meet the infamous Lord Byron. All are in exile, self-imposed on Shelley's part, more serious for Byron, and find they are natural allies in a world which is threatened by their radical politics and unconventional attitudes to sexual freedom. Close friendships and treacherous affairs are begun, and a journal that bears witness to it all is kept by Byron's companion and doctor, William Polidori. And on one particular evening, in a thunderstorm, stories are told that are to inspire Mary Shelley to create the myth of Frankenstein.

 

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More from Radio 4: Frankenstein's Moon

More from Radio 4: Frankenstein's Moon

Did the Moon shining into Mary Shelley's bedroom in June 1816 play a part in the genesis of her Frankenstein story? Forensic astronomer Don Olson has been investigating by charting the Moon's historical path over Lake Geneva and surrounding hills.

 

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More from Radio 4: In Our Time - Gothic

More from Radio 4: In Our Time - Gothic

How did the Gothic style manage to both sensationalise the public and form, quite literally the pillars of the establishment? Any why does a style forged in the spectral shadows of the Ages of Enlightenment still hold so such a secure position in popular culture today.

 

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More from Radio 4: In Our Time - Vitalism

More from Radio 4: In Our Time - Vitalism

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Vitalism, an 18th and 19th century quest for the spark of life.

 

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More from Radio 4: Was Dracula Irish?

More from Radio 4: Was Dracula Irish?

Stoker's vampire has spawned over a thousand films and still counting, shaped popular culture and though it has been a hundred years since the death of Bram Stoker, interest in his charismatic vampire does not seem to be on the wane. So where did Stoker get the idea for his iconic blood-sucking Count?

 

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More from Radio 4: Open Book

More from Radio 4: Open Book

Mariella Frostrup presents the books magazine. She talks to the Italian writer Niccolo Ammaniti, the author of I'm Not Scared, about his new novel The Crossroads. And the editor of a new edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula discusses some contentious aspects of this Gothic classic.

 

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More from Radio 4: Scream Queens

More from Radio 4: Scream Queens

Reece Shearsmith meets the female screen stars of horror.

 

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The Gothic Imagination on Radio 4 Extra

The Gothic Imagination

Three original Gothic dramas by Lucy Catherine, Rebecca Lenkiewicz and Nancy Harris.