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A Modern Prometheus

A Modern Prometheus

On January 15, 1818, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley published her first book. Subtitled “A Modern Prometheus,” this book began as part of a storytelling contest among herself, her then-boyfriend Percy Bysshe Shelley, their host Lord Byron and Byron’s physician, John Polidori. In Geneva, Switzerland, on a particularly dreary summer night, the four precocious thinkers and authors began to compose ghost stories. Percy Shelley wrote about an incident from his childhood. Rumor has it that Byron’s work was about a vampire. But the other two people in this group, neither of them accomplished authors in 1816, launched the modern horror tale with their works: John Polidori’s The Vampyre, and Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein. At the IU East Campus library, we are putting … Continued
One with Words

One with Words

Today is a fun anniversary for anyone of the etymological persuasion – on December 21st, 1913, the first modern crossword puzzle was created by Alfred Wynne for the New York World. Crosswords are ubiquitous. Whole books are published full of them. The New York Times prints one every day. And over the break, you might just curl up with one. Of course, the more education, experience, and cultural awareness you have, the better you are at solving crossword puzzles. But no one knows every answer. Libraries have always had lots of great resources to help any puzzle solver. Standbys include an encyclopedia set like the Encyclopedia Britannica, and an exhaustive dictionary like the Oxford English Dictionary. Having newspapers for current … Continued