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AVAILABLE EXPERT: The origins of our favourite monster legends

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Queen’s University English professor Robert Morrison is available to discuss the origins of two of the best known monster legends of today: Frankenstein and the vampire.

It’s a little-known fact that these two monsters were created on the same summer weekend almost 200 years ago.

“It is probably the most enduringly scary weekend in all of history. In June 1816, four friends – Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, and John Polidori – were together in Geneva, and decided to pass the time by having a ghost-story competition,” says Dr. Morrison. “Byron and Percy Shelley soon withdrew, but nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley went on to write Frankenstein while almost simultaneously the twenty-one-year-old Polidori produced The Vampyre.”

“These two tales have had an incalculable impact upon our culture, for they touched off a fascination with modern monsters and vampires that is now almost two hundred years old, and that is more urgent and relevant today than it was when they were first published almost two centuries ago.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officer Rosie Hales at 613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or rosie.hales@queensu.ca or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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Attention broadcasters: Queen’s has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds. For television interviews, we can provide a live, real-time double ender from Kingston with HD-SDI. Please call for details.

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