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Cover image for Frankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus : the 1818 text
Format:
Title:
Frankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus : the 1818 text
Other title(s):
Frankenstein

Modern Prometheus
Uniform Title:
Frankenstein
ISBN:
9780192833662
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
lxi, 261 pages ; 20 cm.
Summary:
A monster assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies develops a mind of his own as he learns to loathe himself and hate his creator.
Added Author:
Holds:

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Library
Call Number
Status
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FICTION - SHELLEY
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FIC SHELLEY
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FIC SHELLEY
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On Order

Summary

Summary

This new edition of Mary Shelley's classic novel uses the 1818 text, which is a mocking expose of leaders and achievers who leave desolation in their wake, showing mankind its choice - to live co-operatively or to die of selfishness. It is also a black comedy, and harder and wittier than the1831 version with which we are more familiar.Drawing on new research, Marilyn Butler examines the novel in the context of the radical sciences, which were developing among much controversy in the years following the Napoleonic Wars, and shows how Frankenstein's experiment relates to a contemporary debate between the champions of materialistscience and of received religion.


Author Notes

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. (Bowker Author Biography)