Login / Register

The real experiments that inspired Frankenstein

Thanks! Share it with your friends!


You disliked this video. Thanks for the feedback!

Sorry, only registred users can create playlists.

 English / Literature   |   Biology   |   Society / Culture   |   Science   |   Social Science
 Find Related Videos  added


When Mary Shelley published her iconic novel in 1818, raising the dead seemed to be the near-future.

Join the Video Lab!

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has been reimagined onscreen hundreds of times and is a staple of pop culture. The prevailing takeaway is science-gone-wrong and the dangers of pursuing the unnatural. But contemporary readers, surrounded by Enlightenment-era scientific breakthroughs that were beginning to shift the definition of death, would have read the story as frighteningly plausible.

Electricity was being used in a scientific practice called “galvanism,” which seemed to show some promise in reanimating body parts of recently dead animals and humans. Shelley even references galvanism in the 1831 edition of the book, citing it as an example of how this experiment could be a possibility.

Watch the pilot episode of History Club here:

Sharon Ruston’s “The Science of Life and Death in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein:”

Kathryn Harkup’s “Making the Monster:” is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

Check out our full video catalog:
Or our podcasts:

Follow Vox on Twitter:
Or on Facebook:

Post your comment


Be the first to comment