Mary Shelley (2017) Script

Scarcely had the demon cast his burning stare upon her.

Scarcely had...

...the demon cast his burning stare upon her...

...leaving his face entirely without symmetry...

...leaving his face entirely without form...

...and as her fingertips touched upon his lips, he melted into her.

She's looking for you.

Next time you run off to read ghost stories, take me with you.

Who says I was reading ghost stories?

It's thrilling, isn't it?

My heart was racing, I was so scared.

If I were you, I'd be more scared of your father catching you reading it.

I don't know how he vexes so.

People liked his Gothic novels.

Your father is in the bookshop working.

Claire has been tending to the house.

I have spent all hours going through the ledgers.

Where were you today that you couldn't relieve your father for a few hours?

I completed my work for today.

I just went out for some fresh air.

I know where you were.

Look who has returned, my dear.

I just went out for a walk.

Glad to see you devoting yourself to these great works, Mary.

"To love reading is to have everything within your reach."

Payment is over-due, Mr. Godwin.

Need I remind you of the conditions of your loan?

Business has been very poor.

Allow me one more month.

Another month? It's six months already.

Now, weren't you asking for a ghost story?

Is it a new one?

Another month. Understand?

I will rise from the grave... tell the tale of the treachery I have suffered.

And to seek my revenge!

Scarcely had the demon cast...

...his burning stare upon her... her icy cheeks...

Claire, Claire. Claire!

It's just a nightmare.

It's all right.

Go back to sleep.

It's all right.

Go back to sleep.

You can't sleep?

Do you miss her?

She was so full of passion.

So full of defiance.

As if she were at war constantly with everyone and everything.

And enjoying every moment of the battle.

Warriors like your mother are never long for this world.

The Devil's claws lunged at the maiden's neck.

Sinking his talons...

...deep, deep into her ripe, pale skin.

Blood dripped... like tracks in milky snow.


She screamed.

Where are you?

No one watching the shop, and you back here scribbling away like a child.

Let's see what's so important that it's kept you from your work, shall we?

It is private.

What thoughts haunt the daughter of these esteemed writers?

Let go!


She pushed me!

Did you not see her- I didn't do anything.

You all right?

I can't live with someone like this.

There's not a grain of respect in her.

I didn't do anything! That's enough. That's enough.

He's an old friend.

Mr. Baxter is as firm a believer in education as I am.

You'll find his house very comfortable.


I'm sending you away because I love you, Mary.

And because I sincerely hope that you'll find the refuge that you need there.

Also that the solitude will give you time for introspection.

Your writing...

...this is the work of an imitator.

Rid yourself of the thoughts and words of other people, Mary.

Find your own voice.

Mary! Welcome.

Oh, my God, you look so much like your mother.

And, thank the Lord, not a thing like your father.

I'm William Baxter. This is my daughter Isabel.

We'll do our best to keep you amused out here, Mary.

It may not be as bustling as London, but I'm sure we can find some ways to pass the time.

The night is so different here.

How do people sleep with all this silence?

Come on, I know just where to go.

I've thought of trying to summon my mother... séance.

But she suffered so long with illness...

...what if she has finally found peace at last?

Wouldn't it be cruel to disturb her?

Do you think it could really work, reaching the dead?

I already feel her presence.

I miss her so much.

Not a day goes by when I don't think of her.

Would you ever consider trying to contact your mother?

Maybe she wouldn't want me to.

Given I was the one who killed her.

She died just days after I was born.

Oh, Mary.

I love it in Scotland.

Nothing is as I expected it would be.

You've only been here a few weeks.

Give it time.

In London it's not often we have occasion to picnic by the river.

Your mistake is waiting for an occasion.

I looked upon the rotting sea And drew my eyes away I looked upon the rotting deck And there the dead men lay I looked to Heaven and tried to pray But before a prayer had gushed A wicked whisper came...

Come in. Come in. You must be freezing.

If I could just give you a couple of my essays.

My contribution to this evening's entertainment.

How are you? Good. How's the party?

Isabel... who is that?

Oh, that's Shelley.

Beautiful, isn't he?

He's a radical poet.

He thinks poetry should reform society, and so he's often in trouble.

Sounds like quite a catch.

Come, let me introduce you to some friends.

There is someone I would like you to meet.

Good luck.

Percy, may I present Mary. Mary-

Baxter! Come and join us!

Oh, it's Coleridge.

Mary, could you put these nameplates out, please?

Let me get those for you.

I'm Percy Bysshe Shelley.

I am Mary Wollstonecraft-Godwin.

Of course.

Baxter mentioned you'd be joining the family here.

I am a great admirer of both your parents' work.

I hope I can entrust you to this task, Mr. Shelley.

Or will you try to incite me to revolution?

My reputation precedes me.

Won't you welcome a change from the deafening quiet?

I've grown accustomed to it.

In London I spend most of my time in my father's bookshop.

So the deafening quiet is not as dramatic as you may think.

Baxter does his best for these gatherings.

Any lover of poetry will surely find a great thrill in the work that is being presented here.

So surely you are a writer yourself?

Not really.

Nothing substantial.

I hope to, someday.

And what, may I ask, would you constitute as "substantial" in your eyes?

Anything that curdles the blood and quickens the beatings of the heart.

Ah, perfect!

Now may I steal Mr. Shelley away?

We would love a poem, sir.

Certainly, sir.

Without an audience, ideas remain mere words on a page.

Mr. Shelley, your essay.

Oh, I have no need for those. Thank you.

I shall trust in the spark of new found inspiration.

Oh, not the visioned poet in his dreams When silvery clouds float through the wildered brain When every sight of lovely, wild and grand Astonishes Enraptures Elevates So bright... fair, so wild a shape Hath ever yet beheld As that which reined the coursers of the air And poured the magic of her gaze Upon the maiden's sleep

Alone, alone All alone Upon the wide, wide sea And God will not take pity on my soul in agony

This weather. Ah, stop complaining.

It's Scotland, what do you expect?

So I say to you, if all things come from God...

...and we all come from God, are we not part of God?

When we think, do we not behold the very thoughts of God?

Can't say I feel like much of a god.

Your body is tired, Baxter, but your spirit, it longs to soar.

What of you, Miss Godwin?

Do you think you are of God... the great poet Coleridge?

I'll admit...

...I thought Coleridge was much more captivating when I was a child.

There you go.

I'm surprised you can remember back that far.

Behold the majesty of God's creation...

Well just how old are you then, dear ancient one?

Old enough to know why you are asking.


It's inspirational, don't you think?

I'm 16. Hmm.

How about you?


A wise old man indeed.

As mountain springs under the morning sun We shall become the same We shall be one spirit within two frames Oh, wherefore two?

One passion in twin hearts which grows and grew Till like two meteors of expanding flame Those spheres instinct with it become the same Touch, mingle Are transfigured ever still Burning, yet inconsumable


...I'm afraid I have some terrible news from London.

It's your sister Claire.

May I ask you...

...could you tell Mr. Shelley I said goodbye?

Of course.

Was Scotland everything I said it would be?

Were you happy?

I was.

You will live again, Mary. You have your mother's spirit.

You won't be confined for long.

She's been like this for weeks.


Thank God! You're finally back!

So you aren't dying?

Only from boredom.

You mean you weren't sick at all?

Well... maybe a little bit.

Poor captive bird!

Who, from thy narrow cage Pourest such music, that it might assuage The rugged hearts of those who prisoned thee Were they not deaf towards sweet melody This song shall be thy rose, its petals pale Are dead, indeed, my adored Nightingale!

It seems my mother's latest reverie is a young protégé for your father.

We are all to be on our best behavior at dinner tonight to win him over.

He's wealthy, evidently.

She's a woman of indomitable hope, I can't deny her that.

Mr. Percy Shelley, may I present Mrs. Godwin, my wife.

And our children, William, Claire and Mary.


My husband tells me you're a poet, Mr Shelley.

He speaks very highly of your work.

Well, I am humbled by his praise, Mrs. Godwin.

I must admit, though, my work is not yet widely known.

Although I have just completed my second volume which...

...awaits publication.

Very impressive achievement for such a young man.

Any achievement of mine falls within the shadow of your influence, Mr. Godwin.

You flatter me.

Hope you will consider my proposal to take me on as your protégé.

I have a considerable allowance at my disposal...

...and would gladly reimburse you for any time you might spare.

Well, I feel duty bound to...

...foster such ability.

Well then, that's settled.

How fortunate we are to be in the presence of two great minds.

You must see our bookshop, Mr. Shelley.

I have a copy of "The Iliad" in the original Greek.


Perhaps Mary will show it to you after dinner.

How are you here?

Does it seem so strange that I would seek out the tutelage of the great William Godwin?

Clearly I'm not only here to see your father.

Then why are you here?

To once again feel the curdling of my blood and the quickening of the beatings of my heart.


Mr. Shelley?

Your father would like to see Mr. Shelley.

Thank you.

I will be with him momentarily.

I'm quite enjoying the, uh, collection.

So I see.

As I was saying, both your parents are a great source of inspiration to me.

My mother died when I was ten days old.

I'm sorry, I had no idea.

Don't be sorry.

I love to talk about her.

Even if I never truly knew her.

All of the contradictions she embodied.

All anyone ever talks about... is how she wanted to go off and live with a married man and his wife... a ménage à trois.

And what do you think about...

...all that?

I have no problem with it.

People should live and love as they wish.

But one thing I've never understood is...

...why did two radicals such as your parents succumb to marriage?

To legitimize me.

Meet me...


Just tell me where.

There is a place I go alone.

I'm not sure what you'll make of it.

My sanctuary of sorts.

Then it will be my sanctuary, too.

I come here whenever I can.

Just to feel her embrace.

My father taught me to read... tracing the letters of her name.

I don't know what it is I'm waiting for here.

Maybe you're just waiting for someone to reach out and...

...return your embrace.

I thought we would never escape the rain.

I think I'd rather suffer the deluge outside.

If God is everywhere, then why must Man erect temples to Him?

Because it is your imagination that is the instrument of moral good, not these four walls.

Let's see if the Great Creator strikes us down.

You shall fear the Lord your God.

Thrones, altars...

...judgement seats, and prisons, they are all part of one gigantic, despotic system...

...designed to crush the soul of Man.

Their empty covenant has no power over us.

I fear not of God, or His henchmen on Earth.


Someone's here.



So the Judgement Day is upon us already.


Is anyone there?

Oh, Mr. Shelley, it is a real book.

Your name looks so good in that gold typeface.

I'm sure it will be more popular than your treatise on the virtues of atheism.

Ghost stories and romance novels might sell, my dear, but it's books that challenge the common doctrine and superstition that will truly endure.

We rely on brave works like this to push the world out of its misery and delusion.

Well done, sir.

I hope you like it, Miss Godwin.

I'm sure I will.

Read it when you're alone.

Oh, give it to me!

Give it to me. Please, Mary.


"The sunlight clasp the Earth And the moonbeams kiss the sea What are all these kissings worth..."

"If thou kiss not me?"

Miss Godwin?


I am Mrs. Shelley. Harriet Shelley.

And this is Ianthe, our daughter.

How can I help you, Mrs. Shelley?

I am searching for my husband.

He's not here.

My father works alone today.

I cannot help you any further.

Miss Godwin!

Stay away from Percy.

I have not seen him in weeks but I have heard rumors.

Surely a wife of Mr. Shelley would be impervious to gossip?

Evidently you are a stranger to scandal, Miss Godwin.

Did you know I ran away with Percy when I was a girl?

Idealism and love give us courage.

But they do not prepare you for the sacrifice required to love a man like Percy.

Your husband is my father's student.

Nothing more.

If I see Mr. Shelley, I will let him know you are looking for him.

Goodbye, Mrs. Shelley.


Your wife is very pretty, Mr. Shelley.

I didn't know you were married.


Yes, I've been married for five years now.

Well, well.

We look forward to meeting Mrs. Shelley.

Perhaps she would like to join us for dinner one evening?

Your offer is most kind, Mrs. Godwin.

However, Mrs. Shelley and I are man and wife in name...


I continue to provide for Harriet and my daughter Ianthe financially but that is all.

It is an intolerable tyranny... bind husband and wife to cohabitation after the decay of their affection.


I remember saying something like that when I was young.

How could you do such a thing?

What did I do? You told her.

I had to.

How could you not speak of Harriet and Ianthe?

My marriage was a mistake.

I believed that I'd found in Harriet a kindred spirit.

But time revealed only an empty, heartless cynicism that consumed the both of us in a spiral of hate and anguish.

But when I met you...

...for the first time since my marriage, I felt alive.

And had you known I was married, propriety would have gotten the better of you.

Propriety has never been a concern of mine.

I promise you it can be very easy to say that, but it can be very different to live it.

Which is what I challenge you to do now.

You challenge me to what?

To do what- Shh!

To do what your heart is telling you to do and to come away with me.

And let us both find... air to fill our lungs.

A new sun to warm our faces.

See a new life that is actually worth the living...


The air in this house was stifling long before Shelley, but the fact that he comes here every day makes it even less bearable.

Feels like I'm suffocating.

I just want to get away.

At least you went to Scotland.

I've never been anywhere.

Next time we'll go somewhere together.

We'll set off around the world, just you and me.

And we'll meet amazing people and go to wonderful places.

And none of this, or any of these people, will matter at all.

They won't mean a thing.

I promise.

I can't imagine anything more wonderful.

Done so soon, Mr. Shelley?

I thought you and Mr. Godwin would be working through the afternoon.

I'm afraid I don't feel up to much of anything today, Mrs. Godwin.

Mr. Shelley seems to be suffering from some sort of emotional anguish.

Perhaps he was disappointed to find that... do not cultivate the same public feats of wantonness as your dear departed mother.

I would ask that you not speak ill of my mother.

Oh, but of course.

How dare anyone utter one word out of turn about a deceased person of such eminent merit?

At least you have not inherited that strange deficit of hers.

That foolish impulsiveness which mistook wretchedness with emancipation.

I have inherited nothing but a fire in my soul and I will no longer allow you, or anyone else, to contain it.

Are you really involved with that whoremonger?

I hope those rumors prove to be false.

Just when we have found an avenue for our salvation, you go and turn our fortunes into yet another scandal.

Do you believe I care at all for my reputation?

Or yours?

I fear nothing but letting your meaningless words scare me away from my desires.

The sunlight clasps the Earth And the moonbeams kiss the sea What are all these kissings worth If thou kiss not me?


What do you mean? But you're already married.

We love each other.

We don't need to be married.

I told you your warped ideals would come back to haunt us.

Mrs. Godwin, please.

We are only living by your beliefs.

Your principles. What do you know of living your beliefs?

You had no problem with my mother wanting to live out of wedlock.

Do you really think you can withstand the consequences of this?

Your mother was tortured by her impulses.

The very passions she thought were holding her together were working just as diligently to tear her apart.

Don't let them get the better of you, Mary.

And you forget whatever fantasy you've woven with my daughter.

Are you really suggesting I could only be with your daughter if we were married?

How dare you?

Come into my house, you accept my hospitality and seduce my 16 year old daughter!

Is it not you accepting my money?

Go back to your wife!

Never set foot in this house again.

My love, I will return for you.

If you ever see Mr. Shelley again, prepare to lose the love of a father, forever.



Don't look back, Mary.

Remember, once you are gone...

...none of this, or any of these people, will matter at all.

But please, Mary, take me with you.

You promised next time we would go together.

I hope I haven't kept you waiting long!

I guess you come as a pair.

I couldn't leave her.


Where are we going?

To St. Pancras.


It's down here.

Thank you.


It is temporary, of course.

Well, where will I sleep?

Try through there.

I am going to find us a house...

...and I intend it to be perfect.

It already is perfect.

I have you.

Wherever we're together is where I belong.

Are you sure, Mary?

Only if you are ready, my love.

I'm free to write what I please.

Like a torrent of light poured into a dark world.

All around me I see bliss, 'cause I now know what it is to love...

Its very essence is liberty.

...and be loved.

It is comparable neither with obedience, jealousy nor fear.

It is there, most pure, perfect and unlimited.

...close round the dying girl.

Out and in they hurry and spin and dance, through the dance.

They dance through the weary Whirl.

Patience, patience, though my heart is breaking.

God, there is no question-making of thy body thou art quit and free.

Heaven keep thy soul eternally!

I trust you've enjoyed the last of the claret?

Would it be unwise to ask how it went today?

My publishers are fools.

Don't let them upset you.

They're not worth it.

But their advance is worth everything, Mary.

My father has cut me off.

He says I've disgraced his name because of the scandal that surrounds us.

So now you know.

This one. Is that of any interest?


Not interested in those. What else do you have?

Well, 'Iliad' by Homer in the original Greek.


It's been weeks.

You're selling it?

Yes. There comes a time when we all have to let go of the things we hold dear.

It's your decision, Mary, and you must live with it.

He claims to love humanity yet forsakes his child.

I wish nothing more than that you should thrive.

But, look at you.

So, do you want to sell it?


Erasmus Darwin once wrote...

Who is Erasmus Darwin?

A poet and a physician.

He once wrote that a man who has never tried an experiment in his life is a fool.

...on my sister's cat.

Oh Shelley, you didn't!

No, I didn't. I have the claw marks to prove it.

What's going on?

I remembered a debt unpaid.

I know how much you love science, Mary.

Watch this.

This is incredible.

And this is for you.


You shouldn't have spent money on dresses.

Don't be silly, Mary, it's beautiful.

That is not all.

Tomorrow we move to our new house in Bloomsbury.

The servants will meet us there. Servants!

Because how can we write if we are forced to tend to such domestic mundanities as the shopping and the cleaning.

You make everything seem possible.

It's a step up from St. Pancras. Welcome home, Mary.


Wait for me!

Come on.

A day devoted to love and idleness but despite my earthly paradise I feel a frustration born of guilt.

A constant whisper that I am no closer to achieving my dreams.

Excuse me, are you the poet Shelley?

Yes. Yes, I am.

Would you sign my pocketbook? Of course.

Our friends will be terribly jealous.


Well, have a good day.

My love, I have news.

Oh, my Mary. Hey, a baby.

What news!

You're happy? Of course I'm happy.

Why? Aren't you?

I've never had a mother. What if I fail?

You think we can only learn by example?

What of pure instinct? Of the inherent good that lies in all of us?

And that, my darling, you have in abundance.

As will our little girl. You think it's a girl?

She will be our very own prodigy.

Ianthe, come here.

Good girl.

Come, we have to go.


Take me with you, please, take me.

Please, Mary, take me with you.

Take me with you.

There is someone in my room.

Someone? Did you see him?

No. They...

No one, nothing. It's one of your nightmares, Claire.

I will sit with her. No, no, I will take her to bed.

You need to rest. Think of the baby. Claire, come on.

She sleeps. Finally.

And you should, too.

I love you, Mary.

Allow me to do it.

Absolutely no clue.

I can't tell if you're telling the truth or not.

I am telling the truth.

Who's paying for it? I'm paying for it?


You're gonna ruin me, Claire Clairmont. You're gonna ruin me.

What's all this for? Oh, there you are. Guess what.

Tonight we are having a dinner party.

Come here. Don't we deserve a little fun?

My dear, dear friend Thomas Hogg is in town and has just published his first book.

So I thought we would throw him a party to celebrate.

Ma'am, how many guests are we expecting this evening?

Maybe 10.

10 or 12?


Did the publisher's advance come in?

I borrowed against my father's estate.

Percy, there's no way we can afford to pay it back.

Come on... come here. Come.

I'm sorry it's not much of a celebration, Mr Hogg.

It appears we're even more scandalous than we realized.

Don't trouble yourself, Mary.

Shelley and I have a long history of courting trouble.

We began writing a novel together back at Oxford but publishers deemed it too subversive.

We had more success with our treatise which we wrote anonymously:

'The Necessity of Atheism'.

Because it was published? Because it resulted in our expulsion from Oxford.

I'm beginning to suspect you have a penchant for being anonymous.

What's the point of being published if you don't have your name on it? Why bother?

I assume you also write?

It's not anything like my parents.

Soon Mary will produce a work that will surpass all of us.

How about you, Miss Clairmont?

Do you write or are there other tricks you perform?

I have my own talents.

Claire is an accomplished singer. So she says.

I'm yet to hear it.

Will you sing for us?

I will sing, and if you happen to overhear I suppose, it can't be helped.

She has spirit this one, I can see why you keep her.

♪ A sweet scented courtier did give me a kiss ♪

♪ And promised me rightly that I would be his ♪

♪ But I'll not believe him for it is too true ♪

♪ Courtiers promise much more than they do ♪

♪ My thing is my own That I'll keep it so still ♪

♪ Other young lassies can do what they will ♪

Ma'am, Mr. Hogg... is here to see you.

Mr. Hogg?

Thank you, Eliza.

Shelley will be sorry to have missed you. Would you care to wait?

I should like that very much, Mary.

Are you hungry? I'm fine, thank you.

You're writing?

Ledgers. But it might as well be Latin.

Are you schooled in Latin? Yes, my father insisted upon it.

Why don't you sit down?

I fear my Latin is not what it was when I was at Oxford.

May I... practice upon you Mary?

I'm not sure I'd be of much use to you.

My mind is all over the place these days.

Perhaps you should practice upon me.

I cannot believe you fired the servant for that, Shelley.

Who do you think you are?


What's wrong? Is it the baby?

Claire, could you please leave us?

Hogg came to the house.

And then

...he made an advance, but I didn't, I- So you did not comply?

Of course not. I would never-

Mary. Hey.

I have no quarrel with you and Thomas becoming lovers.

Isn't this what we believe in?

Unconventional approaches to living?

After all, why should we not have such an arrangement? I do not own you.

You are free to be with whomever you please.

Oh, but I don't want to be with anyone else.

Don't you believe that love is free?

Yes. Free to be with one person... That is poor logic, Mary.

Your choice means nothing to me.

What disappoints me is that you wouldn't even consider it.

Leads me to question how much you value your beliefs when you will not attempt to live them.

I believe, with all my heart, there are all sorts of ways of living.

And I will fight for anyone's right to live accordingly.

But my truth is that there is no one else for me.

Do you wish to be with someone else?

I merely suggest that you do not offer me the same freedoms I offer you.

You're a hypocrite. Like your father.

And you are nothing close to the man that I thought you were.

Wanting for my 'happily ever after', I lowered my defenses forgetting the first lesson I was taught: that I was brought into this world to be abandoned.

That I am irrevocably alone.


Are you not cold, Mary?

My hypocrisy keeps me warm.

As does my cloak of disappointment.

I'm going to tell Hogg not to call here again.

I already told him with my fist.

You have to understand, Mary, that...

...I have always lived this way... to a fault.

And I thought this was something we both believed in.

An ideal we shared.

But had I truly considered it, and I let myself fully understand what I was doing I would never let anything... anything come between us.

I have a surprise for you.

We're going out.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Phantasmagoria. Starring Claire Clairmont, yours truly.

It's Lord Byron.

Let us go and talk to him.

Lord Byron!

My Lord... may I introduce to you the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and a great admirer of your work.

I know Mr. Shelley.

I enjoyed "Queen Mab".

Credit to you. Thank you.

And now our final act, Mr. Brycison the Galvanizer.

Who amongst you has ever wondered if the dead could return to life?

Thanks to scientific discovery, mankind is on the cusp of conquering mortality.

Using this frog and an electrical current

I will demonstrate how muscular stimulation is possible via electrical means.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the process of galvanism.

Is that really possible? That the dead could come back to life?

There is every possibility.

That has brought you back to life.

Oh, Clara, you are so beautiful... and tiny.

Did you ever see such tiny hands?

She's so beautiful.

Almost as beautiful as you, my love.

Mary, can I get you anything?

I have all I need.

And what a trio we will be.

Yes, she agrees.

You agree? We're gonna be a trio.

You're gonna be our special little prodigy. Yeah.

I can scarcely believe that one small being can be responsible for such joy.

Is all that is truly required is that we live well, be happy, and make others so?

♪ Over the hills and far... ♪

She's sleeping.

We must leave at once.

What do you mean?

What has happened?

Creditors are coming.

Percy. Clara's not well. Mary, we do not have time to discuss this.

It's raining outside.

We can't take her. The doctor said she must keep warm.

We have no choice.

Claire, are you ready?


Eliza, do not tell them anything.


Mary. Come.


We must get back to St. Pancras.

They won't find us there.


Mary, please.

She needs shelter now.


it breaks my heart to see you like this.

The doctor told you, Clara was never for this world.

What about your books?

I mean surely there is something you would like to read?

The books?

The books survived the creditors, didn't they?

I miss her, too, Mary.


Desperately. But I don't want to lose you as well.

Leave me alone.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead Are heaped for the beloved's bed And so thy thoughts When thou art gone Love itself shall slumber on

♪ Tommy was a piper's son ♪

♪ He learned to play when he was young ♪

♪ The only tune that he could play ♪

You'll come to me in dreams, my love.

I will not ask a dearer bliss.

I dreamed of her last night.

That we lit a fire in the fireplace and the fire's warmth nursed her back to life.

My love, I haven't seen you smile at me in weeks.

Oh, Claire.

He invited you to Geneva? No, Mary. Lord Byron has invited us.

Us? You, me and Shelley. All of us.

Do you think you are the only one who can attract a poet?

No, Claire. In fact I am very aware of your abilities.

But... we have to go.

I am pregnant.

Who's the father?

Mary. Mary, it is Byron's, of course.

I've been meeting him in secret for quite some time now.

Don't you see?

Geneva will give me the chance to talk to him, away from the crowds of London.

I mean you, of all people, should know that this city loves a scandal.

Shelley, we've been invited to Geneva by Lord Byron.

Lord Byron? Oh my word!

This is an unmissable opportunity.

This could help us immensely. Um...

I'm not ready for this.


Percy, I don't think I'm ready for this. Please.

Not yet. Oh, Mary, I miss her too.

Oh, I wish I could have saved her.

I'm not asking you to let go of her, Mary.

I'm just asking you to raise above your grief.

To raise her spirit to the great heights she deserves.

Thank you.

I was surprised to hear you were staying here?

Most tourists come to gawk at the place.

We've become accustomed to prying eyes ourselves. I'm sure we'll manage.

Mr. Shelley!

It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance once more.

I received Miss Clairmont's letter yesterday alerting me of this impending arrival.

My Lord, it is an honor. And may I introduce Miss Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin?

Miss Godwin.

Forgive me but there is a smile hidden inside of you, I can see it.

And it is beautiful and brutal.

And I hope that before long I can coax it outside of you.

And there she is.

My Lord.


Claire, I must remember next time that to mention travel plans to you is tantamount to an invitation.

My Lord, I apologize. I fear there's been some confusion.

If our visit is an imposition, we will seek lodging elsewhere.

Please, don't concern yourselves. You must stay here as my guest.

Things have been getting bloody boring round here and I will be grateful for the distraction.

In fact there is the Duke of Dulldom himself, Doctor Polidori.

Come with me.

Doctor Polidori, Miss Godwin.

She doesn't smile.

Charmed, Miss Godwin.

Don't embarrass the servants.

Are you a Doctor of Science, Doctor Polidori?

I'm sorry, but I'm a physician. Science fascinates Mary.

Why is being a physician disappointing. You save lives.

You bring babies into the world.

You help poets with their sleeping disorders.

Doctor Polidori wrote his thesis on the subject.

And, conveniently, I've become quite the somnambulist in his presence.

Well, I hope we can liven things up for you a little, My Lord.

I'm sure you will try, Miss Clairmont.

Would you like to join me in the parlor, Mr. Shelley?

Of course.

Perhaps you'll be more comfortable conversing with Claire and Doctor Polidori, my love.


I must say, the decor is interesting.

Byron likes to record his 'grand ideas' on slips of paper and tack them up on the wall.

You should see the one in the parlor.

Gets littered with paper when we have company, or when he's stimulated.

This is poetry, my brother.

'On Death' by the incomparable yours truly.

Third stanza! Summon the muse.

The world is the nurse of all we know This world the mother of all we feel And the coming of death is a fearful blow To the brain unencompassed with nerves of steel When all we know or feel or see Shall pass like an unreal mystery!

I found this article and recalled your interest in science.

Is this possible? Reanimation?

That is the claim. Applying the principle of galvanism to human corpses.

Every lady in the land knows this.

She walks in beauty Like the night... of cloudless Climes and starry skies And all that's bright Of dark and light What?! Bright! Bright, bright, bright!

All that's best of dark and bright Meet in the aspect of her eyes That's mellow to thy tender light Which heaven to gaudy day deny I was sorry to hear about your baby.

Her name was Clara.

I don't mean to upset you.

No. No, you haven't at all.

I thank you for speaking of her.

It's an unspeakable cruelty for a woman to lose a child.

I've seen it more times than I care to remember.

I'm in awe of you, Miss Godwin and your strength to survive it.


Drink. Drink.

Why not? Why would I not be sure?

It's called 'The Nightmare - The Curse Of The Incubus'.

The Angel fallen from grace because of insatiable lust.

You know the painter, don't you?

Henry Fuseli.

He was my mother's first love.

She tried to kill herself with an overdose of laudanum when he left her for another woman.

I've never reconciled how someone as strong as my mother was so vulnerable when it came to love.

Love will find its way through paths where wolves would fear to prey.

But if she wasn't impervious to the pain of heartbreak what hope is there for the rest of us?

The great art of life is sensation.

To feel that you exist, even in pain.

I mean would you not die for love?

After all, what is life if it does not have love?

Nothing, according to you poets.

You are...

I've always believed that a woman should be intelligent enough to understand what I'm saying but not intelligent enough to be able to form ideas or opinions of her own.

You, Miss Godwin, have the chance to prove me wrong.

Play us a tune, Shelley.

Oh, this infernal copying. I'm bored of it.

I can't transcribe another word of these poems.

It's been raining like this for weeks.

We're all going to go insane.

Can't anyone think of ways to pass the time?

Mary, please. No. She's right.


There are witches in the wind.

I have an idea.

We are, each one of us, to write a story.

A ghost story.

It's a competition, of course.

Whoever writes the finest story shall win.

Miss Clairmont... you...

...your job is to transcribe them.

How dare you?

What right do you have to treat me like this? Your lover.

Claire... are not my lover.

You are a dalliance.

A lapse in judgement.

A silly little girl.

I'm sorry, have I caused a scene?

Sir, I have an urgent message arrived from London.


Is everything alright, sir?


Why, why must they be so vile?

Don't let such cruelty wound you.

You're stronger than you realize and you don't need anything from them.

You don't need anything from them.

Thank you, Mary.


I need to speak to you. No!

I no longer see the world and its works as they before appeared to me.

But now misery has come home... and men appear to me as monsters thirsting for each other's blood.

And I, a miserable spectacle of wrecked humanity... pitiable to others and intolerable to myself.

Has Claire risen?

She sent down word. She is feeling unwell this morning.

Where is Shelley?

I had assumed he was with you.

I think we've found him.

Mr. Shelley.

You look like you could do with some breakfast.

Do I?

How were the taverns?


I, uh, I started upon my story.

I've called it 'The Vampyre'.

Very well. Well we have our first story.

A vampire.

I thought the challenge was a-was a ghost story?

Not a childish superstition.

You do not believe in vampires, Mr. Shelley?

No more than I believe in physicians.

Percy, that's quite enough.

I thought you would know intimately about the existence of nocturnal beings who exploit the vulnerable.

Did you just slap him? Madam, you have my sympathy.

No story from Polidori. How disappointing.

Whatever shall we do to entertain ourselves now?

Well I'm going to go riding.

I need something thick between my legs.

What's wrong with you?

You think I'm an idiot.

Oh, you claim no interest in Hogg. That's alright.

But the good doctor, oh yes, he's more to your liking, isn't he?

Where were you all night?

I do not have to justify myself to you or to anyone!

You have no idea the responsibilities I bear. What responsibilities?

She drowned herself, Mary.

Threw herself in the filthy water at Battersea.



My wife.

It's time that we left this place.


He doesn't want me.

He said... he said that he will provide for the baby but that is all.

It's been such a mistake. Mary.

A mistake.

I wanted to say goodbye

to thank you for your hospitality.

I know what you must think of me but I have never considered myself one for fatherhood.

I am under no illusions about your situation.

Claire, unfortunately...

I never loved her.

Nor did I pretend to love her.

Nor do I believe she loved me.

But a man is a man, and a girl is a girl.

And when a young girl comes prancing to an old man at all hours...

...there is but one way.

There is always another way.

And when we make such choices, there are inevitably consequences.

Always see.

Safe travels, Mary.

I look forward to reading your work some day.

Rid yourself of the thoughts and words of other people, Mary.

Find your own voice.

It was a dreary night of November and...

It was a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils.

Remember that I am thy creature.

I ought to be thy Adam but I am rather the fallen angel whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed.

Everywhere I see bliss...

...from which...

...from which, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded.

I was benevolent and good Misery made me a fiend Make me happy.

And I shall again be virtuous.

"But soon", he cried

"I shall die and what I now feel be no longer felt.

Soon... these burning miseries will be extinct.

I shall ascend my funeral pyre triumphantly and exult in the agony of the torturing flames.

My spirit will sleep in peace or if it thinks it will not surely think thus.


The End.

Mary. Mary.

It is magnificent.

It exceeds even what I believed you capable of.

It has so much potential.

I just have one question.

The doctor, he gets all these body parts and he sews them together in order to make the most perfect creature But when he brings it to life, essentially what he has created is a kind of monster.


Well couldn't it be something more- something more hopeful?

Imagine if he could create the perfect being. Um, an angel.

An angel?!

Yes, and in doing so he could show what Man can be.

He creates a version of ourselves that shines with goodness and thus, thus delivers a message for mankind.

It is a message for mankind.

Well I, I mean a message of hope and of perfection.

What would you- what would we know of hope and perfection?

Look around you.

Look at the mess we've made.

Look at me.

It makes sense this way.

I'll take it to my publisher and convince... No. I will go alone.

You are how old, Miss Godwin?

I am 18.

That really is quite young.

If I'm old enough to bear children, I'm old enough to put pen to paper.

Curious subject matter for a young lady, wouldn't you say?

And when that young lady just happens to be the wife, uh... companion of Mr. Shelley...

Are you suggesting the work belongs to Mr. Shelley?

Well, perhaps there are some other writings of yours that I could compare it to?

It is my story.

Did you ask this of Mr. Shelley when he first presented his work to you?

Or do you save this insult for young women?

And you dare to question a woman's ability to experience loss, death...


All of which is present in this story. In my story.

Which you would have realized if you'd employed the time judging the work instead of judging me.

Did you finish it?


It chilled me to the bone.

It's good to enjoy a ghost story now and then.

We both know this is no ghost story.

I've never read such a perfect encapsulation of what it feels to be abandoned.

I seethed with your monster's rage.

I lusted for his revenge.

Because it was my own.

I wonder... many souls will sympathize with your creature's torments?

More than should, I expect.

It is time I moved home.

You must get your story published, Mary.

Dear Madam, thank you for sending us your manuscript, 'Frankenstein or A Modern Prometheus'.

Unfortunately, this is not a piece that interests us. inform you that we shall not be publishing your manuscript. our taste in judgement alike revolts This subject is not to the taste of our readers from a female author.

In fact, it strikes us as hardly an appropriate subject for a young lady We do not deny that the work has merit but we are cautious in proceeding.

The truth is you have nowhere else to go with your story.

The Lackington Group will publish it. 500 copies will be printed.

It will be published anonymously, provided you write the introduction.

Well of course. I'd be delighted.

So everyone will think you wrote it.

Provided it's published, what does it matter?

What does it matter?

How is it possible that you still don't understand?!

You want me to abandon my claim because my gender might spoil its success.

I never said that. You don't have to.

Not once do you ever think about the consequences of your actions!

You bear just as much responsibility for our life as I.

I, I'm not the, some grand architect of our misery, Mary.

You bear the responsibility.

I bear the responsibility of ever believing in you!

...thank you.


You look... Like I've seen better days?

Mr. Godwin said the same.

You saw my father?

Yes. His shop is stocking my work.

You finished it.

Not quite.

Lord Byron!

I'd all but forgotten about it until Byron's publisher somehow got a hold of it and printed it as his.

I tried to assert my rights as the true author but in response I've only been called a plagiarist.

I will write to Byron and appeal to him to tell the truth.

He has already tried. He despises the story.

The public just has no interest in the truth.

What about your mysterious masterpiece?

The absence of your name was notable.

It is ironic, isn't it?

I write a story lampooning Byron, the blood-sucking devourer of souls and he gets all the credit.

While you wrote about a desperately lonely and abandoned creature.

Abandoned by an irresponsible narcissist and She-

Shelley gets all the credit.

Nonetheless, congratulations.

Shelley must be pleased.

I haven't seen Shelley in months.

It's for you.

We have created monsters, Mary.

But let's not let them devour us.

Gentlemen, welcome. Thank you for coming.

We're here to celebrate the success of 'Frankenstein; Or The Modern Prometheus'.

It's a remarkable story asserting, as it does, the... absolute human necessity for connection.

From the moment Doctor Frankenstein's creature opens its eyes it seeks the touch of its creator. But he recoils in terror leaving the creature to its first of many experiences of neglect and isolation.

And if only Frankenstein had been able to bestow upon his creation a compassionate touch. A kind word.

What a tragedy might have been avoided.

But it is a credit to the writer that it is these very thoughts that continue to run through our minds long after we've turned the final page of this book which I know you all agree is one of the most complete and certainly one of the most original publications of our age.


Thank you.

Thank you.

I know many of you wonder who could have written this horrific tale and why was it published anonymously.

I see some of you suggest that the work belongs to me.

Indeed, you could say that the work would not even exist without my contribution.

But to my shame

the only claim I remotely have to this work is inspiring the desperate loneliness that defines Frankenstein's creature.

The author of 'Frankenstein; Or A Modern Prometheus' is, of course Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin.

It is a work of singular genius and she is indebted to no one in its creation.



I really thought you'd left for good.

I never promised you a life without misery but I underestimated the depths of despair and the weight of regret we were to endure.

I lost everything to be with you, Percy.

Always set out to create something wonderful something beautiful.

But something volatile seethed within us.


the monster galvanized

but if I had not learned to fight through the anguish I would not have found this voice again.

My choices made me who I am.

And I regret nothing.

You were soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance.