Further Reading

An Account of the Late Improvements in Galvanism (1803) by John Aldini

The above text is an outstanding primary source written by John Aldini. It outlines the general properties of Galvanism and how it has been applied to medicine. Although this resource is referenced in this webpage, there are many aspects of the journal that are worth exploring.

The Specter of Frankenstein Still Haunts Science 200 Years Later by Jon Cohen

This source explains the potential outcome of the monster in Frankenstein if Shelley had written her novel today. Within this source, the text hyperlinks further useful sources in exploring bioethics, electricity, and modern scientific endeavors that are comparable to the attempts of Victor Frankenstein. The most notable component of this source is the image of the modern day monster, illustrated by Adolfo Arranz, with explanations of how one might be created by David Schultz.

Animal Electricity by Marco Piccolino

This text deeply explores the history of Luigi Galvani and how he came to his theory of animal electricity. Although this website gives a brief history of Galvani, this paper by Piccolino describes in detail the long and complex path the Galvani went through before reaching his theory.

Volta s Battery Animal Electricity and Frankenstein by Richard Sha.

In this article, Sha highlights the importance of Volta’s work and how Shelley undercuts Volta’s significance in Frankenstein. She primarily focuses and draws from Galvani and Aldini. His argument provides and alternative perspective to how Shelley could have better and more accurately portrayed Volta’s accomplishments.

The Science Behind Fiction by Kathryn Harkup

Harkup explains the impact of science during the Enlightenment on Mary Shelley. She provides a quick look at some notable scientists during that time such as Humphrey Davy, Antoine Lavoisier, Benjamin Franklin, Erasmus Darwin and William Harvey. Although Harkup does not throughly explain the experiments of these scientists, her analysis provides an overview of growing interest in chemistry and medicine, which ultimately played a large role in literature.

Science Fiction Becomes Science Fact: Suspended Animation Trial to Take Place by Jolene Creighton

This article explains the beneficial uses of suspended animation, a procedure that was spearheaded by Samuel Tisherman. Essentially, this science allows for medical professionals to induce a clinical death so that patients can live through a taxing medical procedure. These patients will then be brought back to life. Even though this does not directly correlate to Frankenstein, themes of reanimation after death is now possible. Shelley was ahead of her time and much of the medical practices we use today stem off of discoveries made in the 1800s.

The Real Scientific Revolution Behind ‘Frankenstein by Lauren J. Young

This site is particularly intriguing for the images it carries. Young shares images from books written in the 1800s. The images show the tools used in medicine during the Enlightenment. Not many sources have images good as the ones found on this site.

Top Image: “A Galvanized Corpse” by Henry Robinson (Library of Congress) was printed and published by H.R. Robinson in 1836. The image, illustrated in the 1800s, depicts a corpse coming to life. 

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Works Cited

AAPTFILMS. “The Physics of the LEIDEN JAR – AAPT Films.” YouTube, YouTube, 27 June 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2EWeOVCO5o.

“Giovanni Aldini (1762 – 1834).” Giovanni Aldini, Kingston Technical Software, www.corrosion-doctors.org/Biographies/AldiniBio.htm.
Pilkington, Mark. “Sparks of Life.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 6 Oct. 2004, www.theguardian.com/education/2004/oct/07/research.highereducation1.