Burns Night at the Rosenbach

On January 25, 1759, the poet Robert Burns was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. The anniversary of his birth is celebrated all over the world with scotch, songs, and poems by the prolific writer. Robert Burns holds a special place in the Rosenbach: our collection houses some remarkable early editions (including a stunning Kilmarnock edition that …

Romance at the Rosenbach

Love is in the library: over the holidays, two visitors got engaged while on a tour of the historic house. Admittedly, some of us were in on the plan. One of our artistic staff members created a library display case with a copy of the bride-to-be’s favorite book, Jane Eyre, opened to the page with the famous line “Reader, I …

Frankenstein200 at the Rosenbach

On January 1, 1818, the London publishing house Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones published a book titled Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. The publication did not name its author, but the book had an preface written by Percy Bysshe Shelley and a dedication to writer and philosopher William Godwin, so some readers assumed that the …

Bringing the science of Frankenstein & Dracula to life

In 1803, London was shocked by a public experiment conducted by an Italian scientist named Giovanni Aldini—nephew of Luigi Galvani, whose experiments with electrical currents gave the term galvanism its name. Aldini acquired the body of a recently executed criminal (a perfectly legal transaction, thanks to England’s Murder Act of 1752) and applied electric stimulus to the …