Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus

Front Cover
Modern Library, 1999 - Fiction - 303 pages
"I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion." A summer evening's ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine's room, and a runaway imagination--fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life--conspired to produce for Marry Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, "Frankenstein. Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley's novel of "The Modern Prometheus" chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, "Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.

"From the Paperback edition.

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Review: Frankenstein

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At times, I was fearful to not be immersed in this haunting and deeply tragic novel. I was very much afraid I would turn a corner or flip on a light to see a demonic monster standing in my wake. In ... Read full review

Review: Frankenstein

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Frankenstein, I don't know what to begin this review with? Let's start with The Pace, This book is painfully slow paced,especially when the story is narrated by Frankenstein or Victor Frankenstein who ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

The daughter of Mary Wollestonecraft, the ardent feminist and author of A Vindication on the Right of Women, and William Goodwin, the Radical-anarchist philosopher and author of Lives of the Necromancers, Mary Goodwin was born into a freethinking, revolutionary household in London on August 30,1797. Educated mainly by her intellectual surroundings, she had little formal schooling and at sixteen eloped with the young poet Percy Bysshe Shelley; they eventually married in 1816.

Mary Shelley's life had many tragic elements. Her mother died giving birth to Mary; her half-sister committed suicide; Harriet Shelley-Percy's wife drowned heself and her unborn child after he ran off with Mary. William Goodwin disowned Mary and Shelley after their elopement, but-heavily in debt-recanted and came to them for money; Mary's first child died soon after its birth; and in 1822 Percy Shelley drowned in the Gulf of La Spezia-when Mary was not quite twenty-five.

Mary Shelley recalled that her husband was "forever inciting" her to "obtain literary reputation." But she did not begin to write seriously until the summer of 1816, when she and Shelley were in Switzerland, neighbor to Lord Byron. One night following a contest to compose ghost stories, Mary conceived her masterpeice, Frankenstein. After Shelley's death she continued to write Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826), Ladore (1835), andFaulkner(1837), in addition to editing he husband's works. In 1838 she began to work on his biography, but owing to poor health she completed only a fragment.

Although she received marriage proposals from Trelawney, John Howard Payne, and perhaps Washington Irving, Mary Shelley never remarried. "I want to be Mary Shelley on my tombstone," she is reported to have said. She died on February 1, 1851, survived by he son, Percy Florence.

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