We’ve been hearing a lot about this year’s abnormal weather, partly because of the latest El Niño event but mostly because of the alarming global warming issue. While what we hear and what we experience on our skin (heat waves, freak storms, etc.) is certainly scary, the world has always been characterised by irregular climatic phenomena.
Did you know, for example, that 1816 was known as the Year Without a Summer? This happened primarily because of the eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies, which occurred the previous year. The eruption’s effects spread widely and affected the global climate. Cold and heavy rainfall caused, for instance, a massive agricultural failure, famine, an increase in poverty, riots and death in Europe.
In June 1816, in a villa overlooking Lake Geneva in Switzerland, a group of intellectuals hailing from England were trapped inside, owing to the inclement weather. It looked like a ruined summer holiday for these Romantic souls. However, this unfortunate circumstance actually gave birth to two important Gothic stories that would impact the genre and the history of British literature.