Letters of Frankenstein-inspiring scientist go on public display

December 9th, 2008 - 2:29 pm ICT by ANI  

London, December 9 (ANI): Letters of a 19th century scientist that are believed to have inspired Mary Shelleys immensely popular novel Frankenstein have been made available for public view.

The two memos penned by Andrew Cross, an early pioneer and experimenter in the use of electricity, held details of his tests that included attracting lightening to strike a network of copper cables during electrical storms.

The scientist had become widely known after press reporting of an 1836 electrocrystallization experiment in which the Brit believed he saw creation of new life or “some products formed in a new manner”.

Cross is said to have known Shelley through a common friend, poet Robert Southey.

Shelley, whose powerful narration of a scientist’’s ambition to create a being in the likeness of man, had attended Cross London lecture in 1814, two years before she wrote the novel.

Mary Shelley attended a lecture that he gave in London that was two years before she wrote Frankenstein, the Telegraph quoted Dr Janet Tall, head of the Somerset County Councils archives, as saying.

The letters that cost the council 400 pounds at an auction have been catalogued, and are set to be placed at the Somerset records office, along with other material relating to Crosse. (ANI)

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