When I was growing up, I lived with my grandparents.  With divorced parents, and a dad in the Army - it was the best way to maintain a bit of stability in my life at the time.  For me, it was awesome.  My Paw-Paw was retired, but still full of life.  We had a great time fishing, making and shooting guns, looking for arrowheads, and most of all - enjoying each others company.  During that time, my dad's dad also told me quite a bit about our family's history.  And that history includes our connection to one of the most famous monster stories of all time - Frankenstein.

First off, my last name is not Michael - it's Shelley.  My family came to this country from England in the early 1600's, but not all of them.  Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the most influential and well known poets of the Romantic Era (approximately 1770 - 1850).  He and his friends Lord Byron and John Keats were basically the rock stars of the time.  They stayed out all night, partied, and wrote mad rhymes before that was a thing.  In March of 1814, Percy met a young woman by the name of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and he was immediately smitten.  The couple would later marry (December 30th 1816), and she would take his last name, becoming Mary Shelley.

During a long and leisurely trip through Europe, Mary, Percy, and Lord Byron decided to have a bit of a writing competition.  Having traveled near the actual Castle Frankenstein and hearing the stories of an alchemist named Johann Conrad Dippel (most likely the person that the title character Victor Frankenstein was based on) that conducted his experiments there - she was inspired.

The story she produced would be a tale of hubris gone wild that would capture imaginations for generations to come.  Mary finished her masterpiece (titled Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus) about the dangers of science without limits in January of 1818 (predating Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park by 173 years).  Since then, the story has been re-told countless times and spawned movies, television shows, costumes, and more.

My family gets no money from the intellectual property that my ancestors created, as both Mary and Percy's work are now considered "Public Domain," but that's just fine by me.

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