Went to the British Library last night to see Richard Holmes deliver the above talk. It's hard to imagine that Mary Shelley was only 18 years old when she started writing Frankenstein. The story evolved from a nighmare she had and she used it in a tale she told round the fireplace with Shelley and Byron in the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva when the weather was bad. Holmes confirmed that there were scientific experiments occuring from the beginning of the 19th century on disection of the body. Combined with other events the spark was there for Mary Shelley's imagination. It's a misnomer as well that the creature couldn't speak. He ended up being very articulate. Teaching himself to read at the same time.
Richard Holmes has an entertaining style and a very clever man. He gave the audience more than enough material to satisfy their curious minds. This talk was given as part of the British Library's Out Of This World exhibition http://www.bl.uk/whatson/ Well worth a vist.