Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 July 2020
This chapter investigates the ‘cosmopolitan Gothic’ collection of German ghost stories brought together in Jean-Baptiste Benoît Eyriès’s French translation Fantasmagoriana (1812) and Mary Shelley’s English Gothic masterpiece Frankenstein (1818; 1831). The first section of the chapter explores the German provenance of Fantasmagoriana as these ghost stories travelled between European cultures in the early nineteenth century. The second section examines the historical context of popular magic-lantern shows and storytelling, in particular the phenomenon of the phantasmagoria, musing on its possible influence on the famous ghost storytelling contest at the Villa Diodati in June 1816. The final section considers the influence of particular ghost stories in Fantasmagoriana on the composition of Mary Shelley’s novel.