Ideabird 9/12/12

British science and philosophy was a small world in the early 1800s, and there was no clear demarcation of the disciplines. The philosopher William Godwin most likely knew of the works of Ersamus Darwin and his works on galvanic response—the twitching of dead muscles in response to electircal shocks. It may be that one stormy night William's young daughter, Mary, half-awake from the noise of the storm, might have stumbled upon a late-night meeting of her father and friends. Lit by flashes of lightning, she may have watched them trying to infuse dead animals with the force of life. It would be the hard-to-fathom sort of memory she might have half-carried into adulthood, when she wrote the novel Frankenstein.

© Tony Jonick 2013