(WWTI) – “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” An excerpt from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Today is Frankenstein Friday.

In 1816, Mary Shelley traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, to visit a friend, poet Lord Byron, at Villa Diodati, physician John Polidori was also in attendance. A volcano erupted in Indonesia causing severe rain and climate abnormalities, the group was stuck inside the house and read ghost stories to pass the time.

“I could not understand why men who knew all about good and evil could hate and kill each other.”

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Lord Byron proposed a competition to see who could come up with the best ghost story. Mary Shelley won this contest with “Frankenstein.” The book was published in 1818 anonymously two years later when Shelley was only 20 years old. The dedication in the very first edition was to Shelley’s father, William Godwin. She later republished the book under her name in 1823.

“I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Frankenstein is a staple in today’s pop culture, especially around Halloween. From Shelley’s book and countless adaptations and reimaginings to a few parodies as well Frankenstein is, well, alive.

A fun fact about Frankenstein’s monster is that although he is thought of to be green, Shelley’s description was as follows:

“How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.”

An excerpt from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Although, Shelley’s book is a work of fiction there is some real science behind it, Inside Science has all the gory details to give you a shock.

Happy Frankenstein Friday!