Class 15 : The Shelleys, the Alps & the Sublime

As a follow-up to the paper on Ruskin's Modern Painters, I thought we could explore the notion of the sublime further, by looking at very closely related texts, Mary Shelley's description of the Sea of Ice in Frankenstein and Percy Shelley's own vision of the same landscape in his poem 'Mont Blanc, Lines written in the vale of Chamouni'.


Turner, of course, was also there, so we can confront his vision to the descriptions penned by the Shelleys. Arte did a pedagogical documentary on Turner and the Alps, which you can view below (14 mns duration) :


The Museum of Lucerne keeps a well thought-out (and fairly interactive) online catalogue of its past exhibition on Turner and the Alps :


And finally you can also check out Turner's vision of the St Gothard's pass held at the Morgan Library in New York. (The audio above the watercolour is very informative, and you'll encounter Ruskin again, I  recommend it).


Regarding Mary & Percy Shelley, the British Library's website is as usual a treasure trove of information. The links below are but an entry point in their world :

Biographical, bibliographic

As for Frankenstein, you might like to watch this short presentation of the novel and its cultural impact :



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