Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus

Front Cover
Dodo Press, 2008 - Fiction - 192 pages
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (nee Godwin) (1797-1851) was an English romantic gothic novelist. She received an excellent education, which was unusual for girls at the time. She never went to school, but she was taught to read and write by Louisa Jones, and then educated in a broad range of subjects by her father, who gave her free access to his extensive library. In particular, she was encouraged to write stories, and one of these early works Mounseer Nongtongpaw was published by the Godwin Company's Juvenile Library when she was only eleven. One night, perhaps attributable to Galvani's report, Mary had a waking dream; she recounted the episode in this way: "What terrified me will terrify others; and I need only describe the spectre which had haunted my midnight pillow. " This nightmare served as the basis for the novel that she entitled Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). Amongst her other works are: The Last Man (1826), Proserpine and Midas (1922) and Notes to the Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

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User Review  - jljaina - LibraryThing

An interesting tale filled drawn out in the elegant prose of the era in which it is written. Full of depth and emotions one does not often see in today's literature. Yet there are a few things that ... Read full review

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User Review  - thewalkinggirl - LibraryThing

Loved the beginning, it was creepy and fun in a Lovecraftian sort of way. The middle, when we learn more about Frankenstein and his creature, was kind of interesting in a humanist/existentialist sort ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born in England on August 30, 1797. Her parents were two celebrated liberal thinkers, William Godwin, a social philosopher, and Mary Wollstonecraft, a women's rights advocate. Eleven days after Mary's birth, her mother died of puerperal fever. Four motherless years later, Godwin married Mary Jane Clairmont, bringing her and her two children into the same household with Mary and her half-sister, Fanny. Mary's idolization of her father, his detached and rational treatment of their bond, and her step-mother's preference for her own children created a tense and awkward home. Mary's education and free-thinking were encouraged, so it should not surprise us today that at the age of sixteen she ran off with the brilliant, nineteen-year old and unhappily married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley became her ideal, but their life together was a difficult one. Traumas plagued them: Shelley's wife and Mary's half-sister both committed suicide; Mary and Shelley wed shortly after he was widowed but social disapproval forced them from England; three of their children died in infancy or childhood; and while Shelley was an aristocrat and a genius, he was also moody and had little money. Mary conceived of her magnum opus, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, when she was only nineteen when Lord Byron suggested they tell ghost stories at a house party. The resulting book took over two years to write and can be seen as the brilliant creation of a powerful but tormented mind. The story of Frankenstein has endured nearly two centuries and countless variations because of its timeless exploration of the tension between our quest for knowledge and our thirst for good. Shelley drowned when Mary was only 24, leaving her with an infant and debts. She died from a brain tumor on February 1, 1851 at the age of 54.

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