By Adrienne Provenzano, guest blogger
Limberlost State Historic site in Geneva, Indiana is where Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924) wrote many of her articles, books, and poems, inspired by the surrounding Limberlost Swamp, Gene hiked, took photographs, observed the changing seasons, and created classic stories such as "Freckles" (1904) and "A Girl of the Limberlost" (1909).
About a century earlier, in another Geneva, a different classic story was created. The English author Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley (1797-1851) first created the idea of what became the novel "Frankenstein" when in Geneva, Switzerland in 1816. She was visiting the villa of the poet Lord Byron, who challenged Mary and his other guests to write original ghost stories. Mary was later encouraged by her then lover, and later husband, Percy Shelley, to expand the story into a novel, and "Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus" was first published on January 1, 1818.
To celebrate that work and encourage reading, discussion, and related events during this 200th anniversary year of Frankenstein, the Indiana Humanities Council has organized a statewide read of the book as part of a program entitled One State/One Story, offered in partnership with the Indiana State Library. Information about the program can be found at www.quantumleap.indianahumanities.org, including calendar of events around the state.
Earlier this month, the 155th birthday of Gene Stratton-Porter occurred on August 17th. This week, August 30th, marks the 221st birthday of Mary Shelley. Two women authors whose works have stood the test of time, inspired by two Genevas!