In previously unseen documentation, it has been revealed that Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” was indeed based on a true story. After some damning evidence was uncovered, it was found that Shelley had actually tried many of the experiments on her pet dog, Richard.
In one particular article in the ‘Journal of Transplantation’ (1821) Shelley explained how she had used general anesthetic on her pet pooch to knock him out. She then removed his front and hind legs. Waiting to be transplanted next to the amputated limbs, she had the front legs of a cat and the hind legs of a young Shetland pony.
Using electricity she had harnessed from a recent storm which had been stored in a dual element electric tank, she passed shockwaves through the limbs to check they were working correctly. Once she had seen that the legs were in full working order, she then proceeded to attach them to the body of Richard, who was slowly panting like a laid raspy fool.
After a couple of hours of painstakingly attaching the limbs, the operation was complete. Shelley documents how she cleaned the cuts with milk and salt, using the last remaining parts of the stored electricity to fire up the sleeping pooch. The dog came back around after a couple of electro-pulses, but was horrendously disproportionate and had real problems walking.
However, Shelley still saw the same love in the eyes of Richard and couldn’t bare to let him go. He was kept him in a small garden shed away from prying eyes and fed off-cuts of meat, and was only let out at nighttime. Until one day, Richard escaped into the streets of Edinburgh because Shelley left the garden shed open by mistake.
Richard took refuge in the marshes of Arthurs Seat. Shelley documents how she followed the ungulate, feline, hound hyrbrid because his tracks were undeniable. During his escape, Richard was caught by a hooded passerby, who pitied the poor creature and took him in, confused as to how anybody could have been so cruel.
Shelley followed the tracks back to the passerby’s house, a weathered and lonely looking shack. She pounded on the door, seeming more mad than the monster she had created.The passerby opened the door slowly, cradling Richard in his arms. He himself had been in a similar experiment and empathised with the dog. Someone had trapped him and changed his ears for those of Basset hounds, his eyes for that of a freshwater prawn’s, and his fingers for octopus tentacles. The hybrid man-water-beast lingered behind the door and Shelley, absolutely shocked at the abomination she was seeing, fled back to her house.
She decided she would leave Richard to be with his new owner, as painful as it was. Pondering on the poor souls sat together destined for a life of exile, she rubbed her hands slowly together and stared deeply into the dancing flames of her fireplace and thought of Richard’s legs. To honour Richard’s memory she decided she’d write a book.
And the idea for Frankenstein was born.