An open book, placed next to a pumpkin and some foliage. The opened cover page reads 'Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - Frankenstein'

Dark Angels Note 113

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our weekly Dark Angels Note. It’s time to hide behind the sofa as we remember the fearless feminist creator of Frankenstein.



This week marks the birthday of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851).

Shelley’s enduring gothic classic Frankenstein (or, The Modern Prometheus) is considered the very first sci-fi novel. It tells the story of a mad scientist who creates his own monster, a story which has inspired many cinematic recreations since.


“As a child I scribbled; and my favourite pastime, during the hours given me for recreation, was to ‘write stories’.”


Her love of writing started in childhood, but it was while staying at Lake Geneva in 1816 with her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley and their four-month-old son that Shelley began writing Frankenstein. The story was conceived from a ‘waking dream’ on that stormy night in June when Lord Byron suggested the group should write ghost stories.



Intrigued by the scientific possibility of using electro-conductivity to animate limbs and the myths linked to Frankenstein’s Castle, Mary and Percy travelled through the Rhine Valley. Find out more about the real-life inspiration behind the gothic horror.

Read: ‘Did a Real-Life Alchemist Inspire Frankenstein?



Consider a castle that you’ve visited or seen in a book or on TV. Do you know anything about it that could be a starting point for a short story or poem?

Spend five minutes making notes on your memories of the castle and see what emerges.



In this section, we’d love for you to share all the wonderful things you’re doing and writing with the wider Dark Angels family. Keep sending us your poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots.




Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Join us for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome; in fact, invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on.


26 Orphans: Creative Writing Workshop

As part of a project for writers’ group 26 with the Foundling Museum in London, devised by John and called 26 Orphans, John & Neil will be running a creative workshop based on Dark Angels thinking.

The workshop will be in the morning and in the afternoon there will be a tour of the museum with readings from some of the 26 writers involved. And it’s all part of the Bloomsbury Festival on Saturday 22 October.

You can find out more and book a ticket here through the Foundling Museum.


Writing With Constraints: London, 9 November

One way to make writing easier is to make it harder. That sounds illogical, but putting some obstacles in the way of your writing can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing.

Whether you are a first timer, an experienced writer or all-round creative person, this will be an enjoyable and rewarding workshop. Find out more about the Writing with constraints workshop on the website.


Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here..

From everyone at Dark Angels




Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash