Summer of Darkness App

Summer of Darkness, app, the year without a summer, Byron, Shelley, Mary, Frankenstein, 1816, literature, history

I’m loving the Summer of Darkness app, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of 1816, also known as The Year Without Summer, when the resulting ash cloud from several volcano eruptions around the world caused global temps to drop and summer in the northern hemisphere to turn wintry and cold. (Fans of Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist Histories might remember this from her book Without A Summer! Fascinatingly enough, Kowal’s research is so thorough and accurate that the weather in her book exactly matched the weather on that same day in the year 1816. How cool is that?)

The Year Without A Summer was also the year Lord Byron, Mary Shelley (then Mary Goodwin), her lover Percy Shelley and a few others, including her impetuous stepsister Claire Clairmont (who strikes me as a bit of a drama queen) travelled to Europe. It was also at that time that Mary Shelley first began writing her classic Frankenstein. (“We will each write a ghost story,” said Byron; and his proposition was acceded to.)

I have to say, this app is so, so much fun. It features real time notifications of events that occurred that summer along with daily weather updates, excerpts of the group’s journals, letters and Byron’s poems inspired by the sights he saw in Europe while escaping scandal back in England. Summer of Darkness is definitely my favourite new app to browse through!


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