351 Mary Wollstonecraft (with Samantha Silva)

The writer, philosopher, and trailblazing feminist Mary Wollstonecraft is perhaps best known as the mother of the author of Frankenstein, but this amazing figure deserves more attention than a line in Mary Shelley’s biography. As the author of classic works like Thoughts on the Education of Daughters and A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Wollstonecraft advanced arguments hundreds of years ahead of her time.

In this episode, Jacke talks with screenwriter and novelist Samantha Silva (Mr. Dickens and His Carol) about her approach to writing novels, her immersion in the world of Wollstonecraft, and the pleasures and insights that her new work Love and Fury: A Novel of Mary Wollstonecraft can give to the rest of us.


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65 Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (with Professor James Chandler)

By any measure, Mary Shelley (1797-1851) lived a radical life. As the daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, two philosophers devoted to principles of freedom and equality, she grew up in a tumultuous world of exciting new ideas and strong advocacy for social change. After she and the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley eloped at a young age, they spent a rainy summer with Lord Byron and two other friends in a cottage in Geneva, Switzerland, where they passed the time by inventing ghost stories. And it was in that cottage that what is probably the most famous Halloween story of all time, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), was brought to life.

What ideas shaped this famous story of a scientist who successfully animates a corpse before ruing the consequences? What does the novel have to say about the importance of human relationships in our society? And how does the novel connect to Frank Capra’s Christmas film, It’s a Wonderful Life?  In this special Halloween episode, we’ll talk to Professor James Chandler of the University of Chicago, author of An Archaeology of Sympathy: The Sentimental Mode in Literature and Cinema, about the fascinating world of Mary Shelley, her novel Frankenstein, and the films they inspired.

Works Discussed:

An Archaeology of Sympathy: The Sentimental Mode in Literature and Cinema, by James Chandler 

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens 

Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley 

Show Notes: 

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Music Credits:

Handel – Entrance to the Queen of Sheba” by Advent Chamber Orchestra (From the Free Music Archive / CC by SA).

“Supernatural Radio A” and “Greta Sting” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0