ebook The Modern Prometheus

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

cover image of Frankenstein

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The grand clash between man and monster attains its supreme summit in Mary Shelley's celebrated account of Frankenstein. Attempting to create life, young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, launching a disastrous chain of events that devastates and nearly destroys Victor. This classic tale detailing how he tries to destroy his creation, as the "monster" destroys everything Victor loves, is a compelling story of camaraderie, love, and unspeakable horror.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein endures not only because of its infamous horrors, but also for examining human accountability, social alienation, and the nature of life itself.

Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley wrote this novel on a dare at the age of nineteen. Her main goal was to write a ghost story. She got the idea for the novel during the summer of 1816, which she spent at Lake Geneva in Switzerland together with Percy Shelley (her future husband), Lord Byron and Dr. John Polidori. They held a ghost story competition where Mary Shelley invented her story of Frankenstein.

Since one of its main topics is a scientific discovery, Frankenstein is a precursor of the science fiction novel. Neither Frankenstein nor his monster are one hundred percent good or evil. Instead they are both highly ambivalent characters. Both Victor and his creation change during the novel as a consequence of their relationship--and both are hero as well as victim.

A number of original book reviews are included in this Bodendorfer edition, with some of them being exceedingly negative. Not only was a novel of this sort considered shocking in the early 1800's, but the fact that a woman wrote it was positively scandalous. Quite fascinating.

While this edition is from the 1818 original publication, we've included Mary Shelley's Introduction to the 1831 Edition, which sheds additional light on her work, as well as the preface from the later edition.