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The summer of 1816 was known as “the year without a summer” because of frigid weather in Europe following the eruption of Mount Tambora, which led to famine, disease, a European refugee crisis, and widespread riots. Mary Shelley wrote her famous novel Frankenstein during that summer and later took inspiration from the apocalyptic frenzy in England following this event for her novel, The Last Man. This seminar will consider the aforementioned two novels by Mary Shelley as well as poems by Percy Shelley and Lord Byron, in the context of this environmental crisis. Seven sessions.
Colleen English holds a PhD in Irish and British Romantic Literature from University College Dublin and has taught a wide variety of literature courses both at University College Dublin and the City College of New York, CUNY.
- Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus. Penguin Classics, 1993. ISBN 13: 9780141439471
- Shelley, Mary. The Last Man. Oxford World’s Classics, 2008. ISBN 13: 9780199552351
- Byron, George Gordon. “Darkness.” Available here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43825/darkness-56d222aeeee1b
- Shelley, Percy Bysshe. “Mont Blanc: Lines Written in the Vale of Chamouni." Available here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45130/mont-blanc-lines-written-in-the-vale-of-chamouni