Does every age get the monster it deserves? The creature of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was born 200 years ago and Dracula emerged from the crypt some 50 years later in the 1890s – but which is the better novel?
On Sunday, Dr Sam George, convenor of the Open Graves, Open Minds Gothic project and senior lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire challenges novelist Marcus Sedgwick in a battle of the books.
George will argue that Frankenstein is the greater novel: “My defence of Frankenstein is very simple,” she states.
“Remarkably, it is the work of a teenager, since it was begun when Mary Shelley was only 18; it is a novel written by a teenager, now inspiring teenagers everywhere as part of the A level syllabus.
“Dracula is unsympathetic since he is denied a voice in the novel, whereas Frankenstein’s monster is eloquent and questioning, inspiring our empathy.”
Sedgwick and George have collaborated on the Open Graves, Open Minds project since 2010, when his books were first taught on the course about vampire literature George developed at the University of Hertfordshire.
Sedgwick will argue that the plot of Dracula stands up better and that it is more influential as a novel - Dracula being the most filmed character ever, even surpassing Sherlock Holmes.
It’s time to pick your monster and let battle commence.
Night of the Literary Living Dead, Spiegeltent, Charlotte Square Gardens, Sunday 26 August, 9pm, free/drop in