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Byron in GenevaThat Summer of 1816$
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David Ellis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781846316432

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317163

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Romans à clef

Romans à clef

(p.79) 10 Romans à clef
Byron in Geneva
Liverpool University Press

In the middle of June 1816, Lord Byron and the Shelley party experienced bad weather for the first time during their stay in Diodati. The Shelley party was forced to join Byron and his group in the villa. As lightning and thunder raged outside, Byron suggested a way for his companions to pass the time — write something similar to the German ghost stories entitled Fantasmagoriana. Byron challenged the group to each come up with their own frightening tale. Byron, John Polidori, and perhaps Claire Clairmont and Percy Bysshe Shelley made their contributions, but the undoubted winner was Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, who wrote Frankenstein. Polidori would publish his own story entitled The Vampyre in 1819, his starting point being Byron's own contribution to the evenings in Diodati.

Keywords:   Lord Byron, Shelley party, weather, Diodati, John Polidori, Claire Clairmont, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Frankenstein, The Vampyre

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