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The Mortal Immortal

 The Mortal Imortal by Mary Shelly could be considered science fiction for its time.  It’s about a heart broken alchemist’s assistant.  The occultist, well in the story he is an alchemist, is Cornelius Agripa.  Who was a real person in 15th century Germany.  And whose works Victor Frankenstein reads to get a better understanding of alchemy in the novel Frankenstein.

The assistant, spurned by his by his lover and her social circle is warned not to drink from the brewing elixir as it is a cure for broken heartedness.  Years later the assistant finds out that the potion has a different kind of power.

This short story was written later in Mary Shelly’s life.  Well after her husband Percy Shelly died in a boating accident.  Percy edited Frankenstein and so that work had a more lyric quality.  This story doesn’t have the poetic flourishes, but show’s in straight forward verse Mary’s understanding of human nature.


The Mortal Immortal was published in 1833.  The audioprogram I listened to for the story was narrated by BJ Harrison.

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