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Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text (1818)

by Mary Shelley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,224395,422 (3.97)18
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.… (more)
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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Listened from Librivox. Great story. So much I’d forgotten about this work, having read it decades ago. So, so much Hollywood has gotten wrong (at least Young Frankenstein was a comedy). An interesting work exploring man’s dualities.

Librivox ( )
  jimgosailing | Nov 18, 2021 |
Frankenstein is a classic tale of romantic sensibility tackling nearly every aspect of human nature which has been sadly ravaged and dumbed down by popular culture. ( )
  Vertumnus | Jul 22, 2021 |
Still one of my favorite novels. Stunning! ( )
  rosscharles | May 19, 2021 |
This year, I plan to read at least fifty (50) classic books in literature.
I picked Frankenstein because I read The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein last year, and it was awesome. While reading the original, I realize that Shelley's original version is even better. I will reread it sometime later. ( )
  DzejnCrvena | Apr 2, 2021 |
I'm downgrading this from three stars to two (I think when I originally added it years ago, years distant from having last read it, I defaulted to three for some reason). A lot of it is a real dang snooze. I even like the sort of flowery old-timey language that this book is written in, but the story itself is just real sluggish.

There are of course parts that are lovely. I like when the monster waxes philosophical (the ending is lovely, for example). I like learning about how the monster learned how to begin to transcend brute monsterhood. But then there are things like the family-in-exile back story subplot for the DeLaceys that made little sense to me.

Generally, a lot of slog for a little bit of pay-off. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Shelleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Mrs. Saville, England

ST. PETERSBURGH, Dec. 11, 17--.

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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Book description
D.L. Macdonald and Kathleen Scherf’s edition of Frankenstein has been widely acclaimed as an outstanding edition of the novel―for the general reader and the student as much as for the scholar. The editors use as their copy-text the original 1818 version, and detail in an appendix all of Shelley’s later revisions. They also include a range of contemporary documents that shed light on the historical context from which this unique masterpiece emerged.

New to this edition is a discussion of Percy Shelley’s role in contributing to the first draft of the novel. Recent scholarship has provoked considerable interest in the degree to which Percy Shelley contributed to Mary Shelley’s original text, and this edition’s updated introduction discusses this scholarship. A new appendix also includes Lord Byron’s “A Fragment” and John William Polidori’s The Vampyre, works that are engaging in their own right and that also add further insights into the literary context of Frankenstein.
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Average: (3.97)
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1 9
1.5 1
2 24
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3.5 19
4 149
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