FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley

Original Hardcover Edition

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Few creatures of horror have seized readers’ imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein’s terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense. Considering the gothic novel’s enduring success, it is remarkable that it began merely as a whim of Lord Byron’s.

“We will each write a story,” Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover, the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, “would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror — one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.”

  • A masterpiece of science fiction, Frankenstein was published anonymously in 1818 and then revised in 1831 with Mary Shelley as author.
  • The classic novel is famously subtitled The Modern Prometheus and based on the Ancient Greek myth of Prometheus, as both Victor Frankenstein and Prometheus developed science that gives humans immortality.
  • The book has inspired numerous movie, theatrical, and television adaptations.
  • A top 100 Great American Read, it’s one of the best-loved and most influential works ever published.
  • Mary Shelley, also known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, is the daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist activist and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft.

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