MovieChat Forums > GothicĀ (1986) Discussion > Claire Clairmont compared to Mary Shelle...

Claire Clairmont compared to Mary Shelley


I have not seen the other two movies "Haunted Summer" and "Rowing with the Wind" that deal with the same events as Gothic does, but from the little I know and the choice of actressess it seems to me that Claire Clairmont is cast to the role of the light-hearted sexually adventurous girl while Mary Shelley is the serious and thoughtful woman in the company. In introductions to the "Frankenstein" novel by literary critics she is assigned to the role of Byron's mistress. I wonder if this is the true picture or the fact that Mary Shelley acquired literary fame has led posterity to idealize her character and correspondingly to make the character of Claire to seem trivial.The same may apply mutatis mutandis to the character of Dr. Polidori compared with the two famous poets.

reply

From what I've read, Claire Claremont was in fact a lightweight--history's first known groupie. Even calling her Byron's mistress is stretching things. Byron referred to her as "that odd-headed girl" and only slept with her when she engineered occasions on which they met.

reply

She was a literary lightweight-in the sense that she lacked the literary quality of the others-Shelley, Byron and Mary Shelley. That is established. But the fact that she was a literary lightweight may have made directors prejudiced regarding the portrayal of her character. The fact that you do not have the literary qualities of great romantic poet/author- most people of the 19nth century did not- does not mean that you are negligible or trivial as a personality.

reply

She was also a lightweight because she hounded Byron like a lovesick puppy and tagged along after her half sister Mary and Shelley in their travels until even Mary got sick of her. She just strikes me as a vapid attention-seeking person who latched onto other more interesting and talented personalities.

reply

She also had a long term affair with her brother-in-law, Percy. It is said that Henry James based his famous story "The Aspern Papers" on them. She was also the last member of The Haunted Summer to die.

reply