Alumni Events

Autumn 2019 Alumni Short Course

£10 fund-raiser

Friday 8th November 2019

18:30 - 20:00 GMT

Dr. Dorian Greenbaum

Peggy Webling: The Other Woman who Brought Us Frankenstein

In a talk different from the usual fare at these gatherings, Dorian Greenbaum will put on another historical hat in presenting the story of her great-grandaunt, Peggy Webling. Webling was the author of the play 'Frankenstein', which played an important role in the movie adaptation starring Boris Karloff. How did Peggy Webling, an Edwardian novelist with little experience in writing horror stories, come to write Frankenstein, how did she get it produced in London, and then noticed and bought by Hollywood producers?

Using family letters and unpublished versions of the play from her private Webling archive, Dorian will explore Webling's experience in English theatre, different versions of the play and the author's creative process. Webling's background as one of six daughters raised in a feminist household informs the way she approached her telling of the Frankenstein story, and gives us insight into how our modern conception of Frankenstein depends on innovations made by Webling. As an added benefit, time permitting: Dorian has timed birthcharts for all six Webling sisters, based on notes from sister Ethel Webling, a painter, theosophist and astrologer.

Dorian Greenbaum

Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum is an historian of science with expertise in the history, theory and practice of astrology. She teaches at the University of Wales Trinity St David. A recent work is The Daimon in Hellenistic Astrology: Origins and Influence (Brill 2016). She is also the great-grandniece of Peggy Webling, the author of the play Frankenstein (1927, 1930) on which the Boris Karloff film was based, and owns an unpublished version of this play (1923) along with letters detailing its creation.

An Alumni fundraiser lecture from our outstanding MA CAA graduates

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