Mary Shelley: Bath Frankenstein museum plans approved

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The gothic novel Frankenstein was published more than 200 years ago

Plans have been approved for the UK's first Frankenstein museum, celebrating author Mary Shelley's most famous story.

Shelley wrote much of the novel while living in Bath over 200 years ago.

The go-ahead has now been given for a Grade II-listed building in the city's Gay Street to be converted to house the new attraction.

Bath and North East Somerset Council said it would bring a welcome boost to its tourism industry.

Many museums are said to be fearing for their future due to the effects of the coronavirus lockdown.

.Jonathan Willis, one of a trio leading the project, said: "Frankenstein was effectively the first sci-fi novel. It's in the top 100 most influential books of all time - but no-one in Bath mentions it."

Science over creation

Shelley, then named Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, lived in Bath's Abbey Churchyard from 1816.

It was there it is believed she wrote much of Frankenstein, having been inspired by a ghost-story competition with friends.

The story - much-adapted by various films - explored the ethics of science over creation.

Frankenstein was published anonymously in 1818 to avoid the additional controversy of it being written by a woman.

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Mary Shelley is believed to have written much of Frankenstein when she lived in Bath from 1816 to 1817

Bath is already a hot-spot for literary fans seeking out its links with Jane Austen and the new attraction will be situated a few doors away from the Jane Austen Centre.

"There won't be any blood or gore," said Mr Willis. "It's going to be family-friendly."

The attraction promises to explore Shelley's "tragic personal life, literary career and the novel's continuing relevance today in regards to popular culture, politics, and science".

It will feature period costumes, graphic artwork and some of Shelley's original letters.

"The only thing we can't have is a first edition copy of Frankenstein," Mr Willis added. "A [signed] copy [last] sold for £350,000."

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Bath Attractions will convert Grade-II listed offices in Gay Street

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