The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
October 20, 2017, 10:23:30 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Brassgoggles.co.uk - The Lighter Side Of Steampunk, follow @brasstech for forum technical problems & updates.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Did Mary Shelley Plagiarize Frankenstein from an Earlier French Story?  (Read 640 times)
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« on: July 31, 2016, 09:37:28 pm »

I was looking to see if the novel "Frankenstein" had any predicesors; earlier fictional works about men or monsters created by scientists. I found this:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10509580902986369

The link is to an article from the journal "European Romantic Review". The article describes the story "Le Miroir des événemens actuels, ou la belle au plus offrant" (The Looking Glass of Actuality, or Beauty to the Highest Bidder) written in 1790 by François-Félix Nogaret.

The article says that the French story (which pre-dates Shelly's by decades) is about a scientist named Frankenstein who creates an artificial man against the background of the French Revolution. Nogaret's artificial man is apparently more benevolent than Shelley's monster.

Scans of the French book are available here:
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k854529k/f20.item.zoom

The scans are low resolution, and the magnification feature of the page doesn't seem to work. I don't really have a working knowledge of French so I can offer any commentary of the work.

Can anyone confirm that this is real? Does an English translation of the story exist?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 09:40:37 pm by RJBowman » Logged
Prof. Cecily
Snr. Officer
****
Spain Spain



« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 08:07:05 am »

Good morning,ladies and gentlemen.
By a curious coincidence I went to an exposition about Frankenstein and how he became a cultural icon.
This find of yours is of particular interest to me for the article I'm writing.
Thanks so much for posting this!

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily
Logged
Rockula
Board Moderator
Rogue Ætherlord
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Nothing beats a good hat.


« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2016, 11:51:01 am »

I can't find any modern print of the book but it certainly existed and an original copy is held by the British Library.
This link is interesting especially the last paragraph that seems to indicate that there was no direct plagiarism.

http://www.bl.uk/collection-items/french-gothic-novel-the-mirror-of-true-events

I was unaware that there were actually scientific experiments carried out at the real Castle Frankenstein, near Darmstadt. Those probably influenced both authors.

Logged

The legs have fallen off my Victorian Lady...
Lazaras
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Have Wierd; Will Travel.


WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2016, 02:43:50 pm »

Possibly. The countryside is rather scenic and the castle itself being... well... perfect gothic horror material.
Logged

Cheapie Theatre
Want something to read? Got ten minutes to kill? Here you go!
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2016, 04:37:51 pm »

The article describes a section of the story where a group of scientists have responded to a challenge to create artificial men; a sort of robot builders' conference. Frankenstein's man is a musician who's skill with the flute gives women fainting spells. This may be more the predecessor of Rocky Horror than Frankenstein's monster. The author was probably inspired by the music playing automatons of the era.
Logged
Lazaras
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Have Wierd; Will Travel.


WWW
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2016, 07:21:07 pm »

In absolute fairness the automita I'd seen of the era are rather fantastic even by modern standards.
Logged
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2016, 07:47:50 pm »

I think an corpse automaton would be the perfect vehicle to combine the ideas of the biblical golem together with the alchemical experiments that Johann Conrad Dippel performed in the 18th century.  Here's the man who was the real inspiration for both  The Mirror of True Events' Frankésteïn and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Conrad_Dippel
Logged

RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 08:13:17 pm »

In absolute fairness the automita I'd seen of the era are rather fantastic even by modern standards.

I've seen automata from that era. None of them would have caused me to believe the same technology could produce a conscious organism. But I also have more every day familiarity with mechanical things than a typical 18th century person would have had.
Logged
Kensington Locke
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 02:02:37 pm »

In absolute fairness the automita I'd seen of the era are rather fantastic even by modern standards.

I've seen automata from that era. None of them would have caused me to believe the same technology could produce a conscious organism. But I also have more every day familiarity with mechanical things than a typical 18th century person would have had.

I think such a thing would be a point of inspiration of what could be possible if the tech went further.  So seeing an automata back then might make a person imagine what if this got better, then we could truly make a person.  Or return one to life.

Much like the very idea of steampunk.  What if it were a little bit more common and effective....


Logged
CPT_J_Percell
Board Moderator
Zeppelin Captain
**
England England


The werewolf Airship Captain.


WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2016, 09:29:03 pm »

The article describes a section of the story where a group of scientists have responded to a challenge to create artificial men; a sort of robot builders' conference. Frankenstein's man is a musician who's skill with the flute gives women fainting spells. This may be more the predecessor of Rocky Horror than Frankenstein's monster. The author was probably inspired by the music playing automatons of the era.

Makes me think that this could be a prequel story to "The Pied Piper of Hamlin"
Logged

I suffer from a random misfiring synapse and a bad case of wolfen the turns me into a seven-foot-tall werewolf or a seven-foot great wolf!
https://dragon-rehoming-centre.myshopify.com/
http://purbry.wordpress.com
pakled
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Minions Local 305, at your thervice!


« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2016, 03:27:24 am »

As I recall (dodgy at my age...Wink the story grew out of a trip to the countryside, making up scary stories. I do award it kudos for a good story actually written by a teenager...
Logged
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2016, 05:28:12 am »

The article describes a section of the story where a group of scientists have responded to a challenge to create artificial men; a sort of robot builders' conference. Frankenstein's man is a musician who's skill with the flute gives women fainting spells. This may be more the predecessor of Rocky Horror than Frankenstein's monster. The author was probably inspired by the music playing automatons of the era.

Makes me think that this could be a prequel story to "The Pied Piper of Hamlin"


Not possible. Sequel perhaps, but not prequel. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is based on folk stories that date back to the Middle Ages.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pied_Piper_of_Hamelin
Logged
Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2016, 06:35:21 am »

I think an corpse automaton would be the perfect vehicle to combine the ideas of the biblical golem together with the alchemical experiments that Johann Conrad Dippel performed in the 18th century.  Here's the man who was the real inspiration for both  The Mirror of True Events' Frankésteïn and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Conrad_Dippel

 One cannot be sure if he was the inspiration   for  the tales  - but anyone  dubbed  "most vile devil ... who attempted wicked things." Has to  be an interesting sort of fellow

The surname Frankenstein  does infer a Jewish heritage  and  this may have influenced  the Golem like  figures in the  story
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 06:44:53 am by Hurricane Annie » Logged
CPT_J_Percell
Board Moderator
Zeppelin Captain
**
England England


The werewolf Airship Captain.


WWW
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2016, 05:24:05 pm »

As I recall (dodgy at my age...Wink the story grew out of a trip to the countryside, making up scary stories. I do award it kudos for a good story actually written by a teenager...
You would be correct, Shelly, Byron and others challenged each other to write a scray story to while aways the hours when they were stuck in a house without decent entertainment.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.349 seconds with 16 queries.