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In the 200th year of Frankenstein, we gather ten extraordinary facts about its author, Mary Shelley.

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Poet and writer Professor Fiona Sampson examines the records kept by Mary Shelley and those around her to help us understand how a teenager could produce the canonical novel Frankenstein and its still-resonating archetypes. Fiona Sampson MBE is a prizewinning poet and writer. Published in thirty-seven languages, she has received international awards in the US, India, Macedonia and Bosnia. A Fellow and Council member of the Royal Society of Literature, she's published twenty-seven books, received the Newdigate Prize, a Cholmondeley Award, Hawthornden Fellowship and numerous awards from the Arts Councils of England and Wales, and the Society of Authors and the Poetry Book Society, as well as twice been shortlisted for both T.S. Eliot and Forward Prizes. Her recent books include the poetry collection The Catch (Penguin Random House 2016) and a prose study of Limestone Country (2017), which was Guardian Book of the Year and a Telegraph and Evening Standard Pick of the Summer. Her new biography, In Search of Mary Shelley, published by Profile in 2018, is a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. She is the Professor of Poetry at University of Roehampton, where she directs the Poetry Centre.
A passionate story of English pronunciation It's not what you say, it's the way that you say it... There have long been debates about 'correct' pronunciation in the English language and linguistic expert David Crystal is here to set the record straight. Pronunciation is integral to communication and is tailored to meet the demands of the two main forces behind language: intelligibility and identity. Using his knowledge of phonetics, linguistics and physiology - as well as examples ranging from Eliza Doolittle to Winston Churchill - David Crystal explores the origins of national and international accents, how they are influenced by class and education and how their peculiarities have changed over time. David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Bangor. His many books range from clinical linguistics to the liturgy and Shakespeare. He is the author of The Story of English in 100 Words, Spell It Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling, and Making Sense: the Glamorous Story of English Grammar, all published by Profile Books. His Stories of English is a Penguin Classic. Part of a Season of Sound, celebrating the Library's sound archive. Audio installation supplied by Bowers & Wilkins.
Lyme Literary presents a special event to coincide with Radio 4's Book of the Week. This is a talk by Fiona Sampson MBE on her new book 'In Search of Mary Shelley', which marks the bicentenary of the publication of Frankenstein. In January, the publication is Radio 4's Book of the Week. Mary Shelley's dramatic life story is well known. But who was the woman who lived it? In this event Fiona Sampson sifts through the evidence, followed by audience questions.