Classics Gothic Horror John Quinn Mary Shelley Podcast TTT

Season 5 Episode 5:  John Quinn on The Dundee Connection with Mary Shelley

“I lived principally in the country as a girl and passed a considerable time in Scotland. I made occasional visits to the more picturesque parts; but my habitual residence was on the blank and dreary northern shores of the Tay, near Dundee. Blank and dreary on retrospection I call them; they were not so to me then. They were the eyry of freedom, and the pleasant region where unheeded I could commune with the creatures of my fancy.

Mary Shelly, In the introduction to the 1831 edition, Frankenstein

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

Richard Rothwell’s portrait of Shelley was shown at the Royal Academy in 1840, accompanied by lines from Percy Shelley’s poem The Revolt of Islam calling her a “child of love and light”. (Public Domain Wikimedia Commons)

I am your host, Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

Who was Mary Shelley?  What is her connection to Dundee?  What influence did Dundee have on her writing of Frankenstein?   

I am delighted that I am travelling virtually to Dundee, Scotland where I am meeting up with John Quinn, writer, poet, and lyricist to discuss these questions.

I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting dialogue on Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for joining John and me on Tea Toast & Trivia.

And a special thank you, John for sharing your insights and your commitment to the city of Dundee and the memory of a young teenager who would give the gift of her book, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus to the world.

I leave you with this quote,

“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be his world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.”

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Until next time we meet, dear friends, safe travels wherever your adventures lead you.

“A newly released album of songs about Dundee, its people and places, past, present and its place in the world. Music for ten of the tracks by by Paul Fitzpatrick, and two by yours truly, lyrics by John Quinn and featuring many local musicians who gave their time for free in the hope of raising money for The Archie Foundation Children’s Hospital Tayside. The 12 tracked album is now available online from the Archie Foundation. A huge thank you to everyone who made this possible” Shehanne Moore

More Than Seven Wonders – Duke Box & Co.

Click on the photo below to explore the music of Duke Box & Co. in their album More Than Seven Wonders. All money raised from the sale of this album will be donated to The Archie Foundation to help fund their work in Tayside.

John Quinn on The Dundee Connection with Mary Shelley Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

By Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

34 replies on “Season 5 Episode 5:  John Quinn on The Dundee Connection with Mary Shelley”

A fascinating discussion, Rebecca and John, about Dundee’s history and Mary Shelley and the recent album of songs inspired by both!

Every time I read or hear something about Mary Shelley I think of not only “Frankenstein” but another novel of hers — “The Last Man” — that’s almost as stunning and ground-breaking.

Liked by 2 people

Thank you Dave for the introduction to “The Last Man.” I found the novel on Gutenberg Press and was able to move it to my Kindle. This is the first time I heard of this novel and what a novel it is! I did a little background and found that The Last Man is one of the first pieces of dystopian fiction published. Of course, it was not accepted and fell into obscurity -the term used was “critically savaged”. How could Mary Shelley know that in the 21st century a mysterious plague pandemic would sweep across the entire globe. Goosebumps!

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Definitely an interesting and a “pioneering-ly” dystopian read, Rebecca and Liz! Plus it’s semi-autobiographical; the three main characters are loosely based on Mary Shelley herself (despite that character being male), Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron. Yes, very unfortunate it wasn’t appreciated until many, many, many years later.

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This was such an informative post! It was so interesting to hear how Dundee evolved and changed over time.” More than Seven Wonders” is awesome. Again, the backstory on how this was created is also fascinating. It is also a wonderful thing that this creative project will help the lives of so many children. Great post!!!

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I am delighted that you enjoyed this conversation, Linda. John has an amazing way of bringing history to life. He is a brilliant historian. I am looking forward to him sharing his poetry in future podcast. Thank you for listening in and for you heartwarming comments.

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I had no idea that Dundee was the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, until I met John! There is rich history behind every story, isn’t there! Thank you for listening in and adding to this conversation, Darlene! Very much appreciated.

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This is a very fascinating conversation. I realize, sadly, that I know very little about the history–good to hear from a gifted historian! I have determined to search and read much of the things that have been discussed above. Actually, I have read none of the historical writings that are mentioned. I confess to have only read “Frankenstein”! ! !

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Thanks for having John Quinn share your podcast, Rebecca. It was interesting to learn of Mary Shelley’s connection to Dundee, Scotland, and the history of the area. It was also interesting to learn about “The Last Man” in the comments.

Your podcasts are informative, in so many ways. I’m late this week, but I am so glad I made it before this link disappeared into the depths of my inbox.

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Thank you, Shey, for your introduction to John, his lyrics, the music and the Archie Foundation. Don and I had so much fun meeting up with John. He is an amazing historian and storyteller. I truly felt that we had gone back in time. I am looking forward to another virtual travel adventure to Dundee to meet up John and discuss his poetry.

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Hi Rebecca, this was a most interesting discussion about Dundee firstly, and Mary Shelley’s association with the city secondly. It led me to go down a bit of a rabbit hole about Mary Shelley as I didn’t know that much about her life although I know she and Percy Shelley were hounded by controversy and scandal. I can see why now that I’ve read up on her life.

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I had no idea that Mary Shelley had any connection to Dundee until I met John, who is an exceptional historian and storyteller. I felt that I had gone back in time to see the jute industry first hand.

Whenever you move away from the status quo and become an outlier, there will be backlash from society. Creatives, whether musicians, poets, dancers, writers, scientists will face this challenge. Like you, I am going back to read more about Mary Shelley, given that she was a pioneering figure in the development of science fiction and is widely considered to be one of the most influential authors of the 19th century. I have read that she was a strong advocate for social reform and was a supporter of the abolition of slavery. Her works often explored the consequences of unchecked scientific progress and the dangers of human ambition. A compassionate and generous person, her works reflect her strong moral convictions.

Thank you for adding to this discussion. I love our conversations.

Liked by 2 people

Just started “Passion” by Jude Morgan, Shey. I stayed up late into the night to read the first few chapters. The lesson that I continue to learn over and over, but still never quite get it right: “Never start a good book at 10pm!” LOL!!!

Liked by 1 person

I am so glad that you listened in Teagan. What I love about blogging/podcasting is that they are there when you are able to stop by! I have been very interested in learning more about Mary Shelley and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft. They changed the world with writing. John is a wonderful source of knowledge and information.

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