BOURNEMOUTH is to celebrate its links with the author of Frankenstein by hosting the first Mary Shelley Festival next weekend.

Running from October 1 to 3, the festival will celebrate the life and works of the author who is buried at St Peter’s Church in Hinton Road.

It is the initiative of writer Christine Aziz, who was surprised to find thatmore was not done to celebrate the author’s links with the town when she moved to the area.

“We want to try and introduce her to the public and get them to know a little bit more about her,” she said.

Shelley requested to be buried in Bournemouth despite never having lived in the town.

Her parents were exhumed and buried with her in the plot, along with the heart of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, the Romantic poet.

Christine, who has set up the festival with only limited funding from America and none from the UK, hopes it will raise more awareness of Shelley’s influential work.

“There really are lots of ways people today can relate to her work,” said Christine. “I want loads of people to come along. I’d love everyone to come and ‘meet’ Mary Shelley.”

The festival, which takes place primarily at the Bournemouth Natural Science Society on Christchurch Road, is set to feature talks from local historians and writers.

There will also be An Evening with Mary Shelley, in which a modern-day “interview” will be conducted with the author.

There will also be a first rehearsal reading of Diane Samuels’ new play The End of Romance, which is inspired by Shelley’s work.

The Mary Shelley pub in the Quadrant Centre will host a Frankenstein-themed fancy dress evening on Saturday, October 2, as part of the event.

• Further details and ticket information are available at