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Frankenstein focus of Ericksen lecture

Frankenstein“’It’s Alive’: The Monster and Manuscript of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” will be the topic of a lecture by Charles E. Robinson, professor of English romanticism at the University of Delaware, Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jereld R. Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

The lecture will focus on the “birth” of Mary Shelley’s novel: from its original conception in 1816 through its first edition in 1818 and then through later editions and stage and film versions. Having edited at least five versions of the novel, Robinson will explain how these various “texts” of the novel affect its theme about the dangerous consequences of the pursuit of knowledge.

Robinson is the author of Byron and Shelley: The Snake and Eagle Wreathed in Fight and the editor of Mary Shelley: Collected Tales and Stories. He is also the editor of  Lord Byron and His Contemporaries: Essays from the Sixth International Byron Seminar, editor of William Hazlitt to His Publishers, Friends, and Creditors: Twenty-seven New Holograph Letters, co-editor of The Mary Shelley Reader and editor of Mary Shelley’s Proserpine and Midas. He has also published the two-volume diplomatic edition of the manuscripts of The Frankenstein Notebooks and he is currently working on an edition of the letters of Charles Ollier, the publisher of the Shelleys, Keats, Hazlitt, Lamb, and other Romantic and Victorian writers.

Robinson has published essays on the Romantic writers in such journals as The Byron Journal, English Language Notes, Keats-Shelley Journal and Keats-Shelley Memorial Bulletin, as well as in a number of collections of essays. He offers courses on the romantics, especially Byron and the two Shelleys. He is the executive director of The Byron Society of America and has served as director of Graduate Studies and co-chair of the Byron Society Collection at the University of Delaware. He is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s College and received his Ph.D. from Temple University.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Ken and Donna Ericksen Endowed English Department Fund. Ericksen, professor emeritus of English at Linfield, created the endowment in memory of his wife, Donna, a Linfield alumna, who taught reading, writing and English in the Hillsboro School District for 25 years. The endowment allows the English Department to bring speakers to campus for several days to work with faculty and students and to present a public lecture. For more information, call 503-883-2583.