Eleanor of Aquitaine (daughter of the tenth Duke of Aquitaine, William), is readily recognised by a horde of historians as one of the most powerful women operating on the continent and in Great Britain during the Medieval period. After her father’s death she became Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, and went onto gain the title of queen-consort of France, following her marriage to Louis VII of France. After their vicious annulment, she would go on to marry her previous husband’s vassal and fifth Anglo-Norman king of England, Henry II.
200 years ago, in January 1818, Frankenstein was published, when its author was only 21 years old. The novel was published anonymously, but included a preface by Percy Shelley, leading many to believe that the tale was created by the reputable poet of the time. Even today, experts question that Mary Shelley penned the tale, citing annotations by Percy in original drafts of the novel as evidence that he, her husband, was the true author, despite these being equivalent to an ordinary editor’s notes. But it is clear from her life and influences that it was Mary who forged the “hard yellow eye”, who moulded the “work of muscles and arteries” and infused “life into an inanimate body”, creating an immortal creature that would be iconic for generations to come.
Have you ever read the Harry Potter books and been invariably jealous of all the cool concoctions they seem to be able to whip up in no time? Have you ever thought, ‘that Kings boy would definitely go out with me if I could slip him some Amortentia in his chocolate cauldrons’, or ‘ohh, I think this snake is lying to me, I wish there was a way to know for sure? Veritaserum could help me!’ Well, by using the magic of chemicals it seems that actually, this might be a possibility.
If you close your eyes and imagine yourself somewhere else right now, you form a picture in a non-material realm in your mind, which isn’t restricted by the physical laws of the universe. This realm isn’t tangible but it exists, and it has been argued that if there is a God, this is where we would find Him/Her. Applying ideas of quantum physics to this, the angels described in Pullman’s books could exist as beings in the spiritual and material world, suspended between two states in a similar way to light being suspended between waves and particles.
‘Supernatural’ is a good show to watch with a philosophical mind, perhaps only to be watched in daylight and not by anyone with fear of ghosts but for those with strong dispositions it is something that touches the deepest questions of our society and two of the most prominent schools of philosophical thought.