GALLIPOLIS — Ohio Chautauqua continues Wednesday with Susan Frontczak presenting as historical author Mary Shelley at 7:30 p.m., with local music performances beginning at 6:45 p.m.
Frontczak is from Boulder, Colo. She is a writer, actor and storyteller and has been enacting her craft for over two decades. She plays in theaters, corporations, schools, libraries and nationwide festivals. Her living history presentations have included physicist Marie Curie (to be featured later in the week), First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, animal rights activist Irene Castle and American Red Cross founder Clara Barton.
She writes scripts for her living history performances after extensive research of her focus person. Frontczak has had more than 350 performances in 30 states, as well as in nine other countries. Frontczak can be found on postage stamps while posing as another Ohio Chautauqua character, Marie Curie, in the countries of Malie, the Republic of Togo, Zambia and the Republic of Guinea.
Frontczak’s Wednesday presentation will focus on one of the first author’s of science fiction. Mary Shelley is known for being the English author of “Frankenstein.” Shelley was born in 1797 in London and died in 1851 from a brain tumor. Shelley wrote her career-defining book at the young age of 19. She was the daughter of philosophers and writers William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft.
Shelley’s husband, Percy Shelley, was one of her father’s philosophical admirers. Despite also being a writer, she spent a portion of her life in an effort to help her husband publish his work. Between her and her husband, they birthed four children; however, only one survived.
Shelley began writing “Frankenstein” in 1816 when she spent a summer with her husband in Geneva, Switzerland, visiting Lord George Byron, Clair Clairmont and John Polidori. Supposedly, the group would sit around log fire’s at night and tell German ghost stories to each other. Byron then encouraged his colleagues to write their own ghost stories. The writing of “Frankenstein” was originally intended to be a short story, but Shelley’s husband encouraged her to turn it into a novel. The book was originally published anonymously in 1818.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.
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