Did Frankenstein live?
Published: January 31, 2002
|Did Frankenstein live? According to Italian researcher Paolo Mazzarello, 18th-century priest Lazzaro Spallanzani was the inspiration not only for Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein, but also for the "mad scientists" of horror literature in general. Spallanzani blinded bats to show they could still find their way in the dark, decapitated snails to see if their heads would grow back, and revived dehydrated microscopic creatures. Ernst Hoffmann modeled his 1815 story, Der Sandmann—about a scientist who builds a robot—on Spallanzani; a year later, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein.|
Others, however, believe that Shelley may have modeled her scientist on other real-life figures, including Konrad Dippel, a 16th-century German alchemist who lived in Castle Frankenstein, and Andrew Crosse, a 19th-century British scientist who claimed to have created small insect-like creatures while conducting electrical experiments. #