World History 1818

About the history of the world in 1818, Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein, Chile wins its independence.



* Mary Shelley, wife of the poet, published Frankenstein, the most famous of all horror stories. A year earlier in Switzerland, she and a group of friends, including Byron and Shelley, had sat around the fire telling ghost stories; Byron had suggested they each try to write one, but only Mary had persevered. In the tale of a scientist destroyed by his creation, she evoked a powerful symbol linking man's awesome technological skill with his self-destructiveness. Her vision of the future contrasted with the optimism of many of her contemporaries, who believed in the perfectibility of man.

Apr. 5 Joining forces with Argentine Gen. Jose de San Martin, Bernardo O'Higgins, son of an Irishman who had been viceroy of Peru, defeated the Spanish at the Maipo River, winning independence for Chile. O'Higgins became dictator of Chile and wrote its first constitution.

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