On a very cold day in October 2012 I sat up a tree and read aloud. My reading of the first Frankenstein by Mary Shelley in its entirety, a long durational reading indebted to Andy Kauffman, was well attended by very few. The original story of 1818 is darker and offers no redemption unlike the revised and more familiar version from 1836. I was indebted to the presence of hardy listeners who braved the curious experience of hearing Mary Shelley’s extraordinarily sad and beautiful story in a house where she never lived. Although Boscombe Manor had been bought by her only surviving child as a place for her old age, Mary Shelley died at the age I am now.
I was accompanied by Jem Finer on guitar, singing bowls, record player and toy instruments.
Commissioned byArts Festival Bournemouth, a co commission with Arts University College Bournemouth
Thanks toStephanie James, Carol Maund, Tom Hall.
and for images Jem Finer copyright 2012