Conceived to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the “Year Without Summer,” this iPhone/iPad app tells the story of the famous summer Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, and their companions spent in Switzerland -- the summer the world was supposed to end.

In book mode, you may read all of the content from beginning to end.

In notification mode, the story of the “Year Without Summer” will unfold as a series of notifications appearing on your iPhone or iPad. Notifications will arrive in “real” time concurrent to the dates and times the events actually took place in 1816, from Claire Claremont’s romantic pursuit of Lord Byron to Percy Bysshe Shelley’s writing of Mont Blanc to the famous night when Mary Shelley had a vision of Frankenstein’s monster in response to a ghost story writing challenge issued by Lord Byron.

Each notification will unlock new content.

You will follow the journeys of the group across a map of the region, encounter the daily weather from 1816, and read original source material: the journals, letters, and literary works of Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, Claire Clairmont, and Dr. John William Polidori. In this way you can experience the travels of Lord Byron and his entourage as if you were contemporaries.

Once the summer is over, you can continue to explore the fully unlocked content at your own pace or choose to reset the story and start over the next year.

*This app does not contain any ads or in-app purchases.

What's New

Version 3.0

- Changes behavior of real-time view to always start on May 6th of the current year
- Fixes visual glitch during orientation transition on smaller devices
- Happy Birthday Frankenstein!

Ratings and Reviews

A fascinating approach to real-time digital storytelling!


This app tells the true story of a group of writers summering in Switzerland and the creative milieu that gave rise to Frankenstein. The story unfolds in real-time, which, combined with a representation of the day to day weather, provides a sense of the atmosphere in which these events transpired. The app also serves as an informative, biographical entry point into the work of the writers depicted, excerpts of which are included alongside historical journal entries and letters. Highly recommended!

Great Adventure


While I concede that this app is not for everyone, for those interested in British literature and the romantic period In particular, there's much to enjoy here. I thoroughly enjoyed the opening letter of the voyage by Claire Claremont to Lord Byron. Each day you find out something interesting from one of the people in the party who gathered at Lake Geneva that Summer. This is so original and I hope more apps are like this in the future

awful - there is nothing to do or read

someone in boston

This app is simply terrible. There is no tutorial, no content, and nothing to click on or to read. Upon opening the app, there is a splash screen, with nothing to do. I can scroll through various dates, and see an occasional roughly-drawn animation of rain, but that's it. There are some non-clickable maps and head portraits that do nothing and that are not responsive to taps or swipes. There are no instructions. It is very frustrating to tap on random items trying to elicit a response in vain. The app promises a "story" but there is nothing to read. Truly awful. Avoid avoid.


Andrew Sempere
34.6 MB
Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
© 2016 The Place Lab


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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