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Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus
Synopses & Reviews
Mary Shelley's fable of the new Prometheus is the only Gothic novel that still reaches a wide and appreciative audience.
A brilliant synthesis of contemporary philosophy, literary influences and personal vision, Frankenstein was a bestseller but not a great critical success when it first appeared in 1818.
Frankenstein's presumptuous act of creation, although begun with the best of intentions, is doomed to failure, for man cannot hope to penetrate the secrets of nature. In recounting this chilling tragedy, Mary Shelley demonstrates both the corruption of an innocent creature by an immoral society and the dangers of playing God with science.
For this newly revised edition of Frankenstein, Maurice Hindle has made many editorial additions. These include a collation of the texts of 1818 and 1831 and the reprinting of Dr John Polidori's The Vampyre, making this companion tale to Frankenstein available for the first time. His masterly Introduction places this extraordinary novel in its historical and literary context.
"[T]he novel Frankenstein is quite a read....It's highly Romantic, in the literary sense...[there is] a good deal of attractive torment and self-doubt, from both Victor Frankenstein and his creation....If ever a book needed to be placed in context, it's Frankenstein." James Hynes, The New York Times Book Review
'Edited by Maurice Hindle.'
About the Author
Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on August 30, 1797 in London, the daughter of William Godwin — a radical philosopher and novelist, and Mary Wollstonecraft — a renowned feminist and the author of Vindication of the Rights of Woman. She eloped to France with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1814, although they were not married until 1816, after the suicide of his first wife. She began work on Frankenstein in 1816 in Switzerland, while they were staying with Lord Byron, and it was published in 1818 to immediate acclaim. She died in London in 1851.
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