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  1. Dec 2019
    1. I may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle

      Robert's expedition hopes to reach the magnetic North Pole. Contemporary scientific debates suggested magnetism as the most powerful natural force responsible for life. For a full account of magnetism and electricity in the novel and its offspring, see Iwan Rhys Morus, Frankenstein's Children: Electricity, Exhibition, and Experiment in Early Ninteenth-Century London (Princeton University Press, 1998).

    2. r by ascertaining the secret of the magnet

      We now know that the magnetic charge of the North Pole causes the needle of a compass to point north. However, until William Gilbert (1540-1603) discovered the magnetism of the earth's poles, it was a common conception that the needle on the compass moved by force of magic. In Shelley's time, the source of the earth's magnetism was a mystery and adventurers like Robert Walton set out to the North and South Poles seeking scientific answers and public glory.