How old was Frankenstein when he died

200 years of "Frankenstein" How a volcanic eruption created Frankenstein's monster

In 1815 the Tambora volcano erupted in Indonesia, and three years later a monster was unleashed on the world that still holds her in suspense: In 1818 Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein" was published.

A volcanic eruption on the other side of the earth - an event that would normally be barely noticed in distant Europe. This time, however, it was different, the consequences of the natural event were noticeable even here. Huge clouds of ash darkened the skies around the world for years. That is why 1816 is still called the "year without a summer" today. Snow fell in the middle of summer and the harvest was poor.

Inspiration for horror stories

It seems as if the shadows that then darkened much of the world also kept the gate to darkness a crack open. Two literary figures slipped through, who still stimulate the imagination of people today: Frankenstein's monster and the vampire. Both were created in 1816 in the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Four literature enthusiasts wanted to spend a peaceful time there: the darkly romantic poet Lord Byron with his personal physician John Polidori, the writer Percy Bysshe Shelley and his future wife Mary Godwin, who later became Mary Shelley.

The weather often banished the travelers into the house and - probably inspired by the gloomy doomsday mood - the thought arose to try out some literary horror stories. But not the gloomy poet Lord Byron or the well-known writer Percy Bysshe Shelley should create the most lasting work. Byron's personal physician, John Polidori, wrote the world's first vampire story, "The Vampire" - and especially Mary Shelley, who was just 19 years old at the time, created a true classic of horror literature with "Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus". Byron's story remained only a fragment and no dark work by Percy has come to light from this period.

200 year old science fiction story

While Polidori's vampire was forgotten relatively quickly and only received the effectiveness known to this day through Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (1897), Mary Shelley wrote a true classic. The term "horror novel" actually falls short here. In a way, it also shaped, if not founded, the genre of the science fiction novel.

The story is well known: the scientist Viktor Frankenstein created a human creature from parts of the dead and brought it to life with scientific means. But he is terrified of his own deed and flees. The being he has created knows no morality, since it is also not given any education. So it kills without evil will. People strongly dislike it, initially only because of its ugliness.

In his loneliness, the creature Frankenstein asks for a female companion. This begins the work, but for fear of the incalculable consequences, for example if both had children, he destroys the almost finished female creation again. The lonely creature sees this and is now seeking revenge. So he kills - this time deliberately - Frankenstein's bride on their wedding night. Its creator should experience the same pain as the monster. The two start a hunt for each other, which ultimately costs both their lives.