Do not be angry with the rain

“Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.”

 ― Vladimir Nabokov

New years day, I am woken by the rain on my window, it continues, keeping all but the very brave or foolhardy inside. I am happy to curl up with my books researching Frankengirl till it dawns on me that my actions are once again being lead by atmospheric forces.

This time last year when Kaddy, I and our friends at the Polar Museum were busy making plans for The Snow Queen every meeting was met with approval from the Queen herself, varying from a light flutter of snow to a near blizzard, this was something we got used to and it was quite normal for text and textile inspiration to hit while trying to go about our normal life’s in the mitts of the Snow Queen’s weather favors.

 Well Kaddy my dear I think it’s happening again

Mary Shelley Wrote The Modern Prometheus in the summer of 1816 at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Stuck inside thanks to the rain, the party spent their time sitting round the fire reading German ghost stories, the rain continued and they progressed to challenging each other to write their own. Shelley was inspired by the groups discussions on the 18th century natural philosopher and poet Erasmus Darwin* who was said to have animated dead matter, the story she wrote grew up to become became Frankenstein

“I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for SUPREMELY frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world”

– Mary Shelley

Frankenstein was written in the long rainy summer of 1816, 1816 become known as the year without a summer, the Summer that never was, the year there was no summer, and even eighteen hundred and froze to death, It was very wet and very cold. The weather effected large parts of the world, causing poverty and famine as crops were destroyed.

It could just be rain, which we get a lot of in the UK anyway, Moving from one the country’s driest areas (Peterborough) to one which regularly floods (Worcester) must have had an impact…

But then…

But then I remembered that the other day while walking to town the rain started to come down so hard I was forced to shelter in the doorway of the building, the Pandora that I am I was soon inside and exploring the building, this really is a story for another blog** but the upshot is that this lead me to a huge revelation about my work on the project

And then all of a sudden, I knew our new boss was in the building (so to speak)

So Kaddy, expect rain, and expect it to force your hand in wonderful ways

Personally I have already swapped my red shoes for some red wellies…


Your pale student of unhallowed arts

* Another physician and poet Keats fans!

** New Years resolutions and that, that post might even be soon!


About lholmes4keats

I have worked with Museums across the UK for the last ten years making costumes for exhibitions on everything from The Titanic to Tyrannosaurs. I have Run workshops and lectures on costume both nationally and internationally, my work has featured in exhibitions, films and theatre productions both nationally and internationally. In 2011 I curated The Needle is always at hand, an exhibition of dress based on Fanny Brawne's life while she lived at Keats House.
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