The year 1818 saw the publication of one of the most influential science-fiction stories of all time. Frankenstein: Or, Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley had a huge impact on gothic horror and science-fiction genres, and her creation has become part of our everyday culture, from cartoons to Hallowe'en costumes. Even the name 'Frankenstein' has become a by-word for evil scientists and dangerous experiments. How did a teenager with no formal education come up with the idea for an extraordinary novel such as Frankenstein? Clues are dotted throughout Georgian science and popular culture. The years before the book's publication saw huge advances in our understanding of the natural sciences, in areas such as electricity and physiology, for example. Sensational science demonstrations caught the imagination of the general public, while the newspapers were full of lurid tales of murderers and resurrectionists. Making the Monster explores the scientific background behind Mary Shelley's book. Is there any science fact behind the science fiction? And how might a real-life Victor Frankenstein have gone about creating his monster? From tales of volcanic eruptions, artificial life and chemical revolutions, to experimental surgery, 'monsters' and electrical experiments on human cadavers, Kathryn Harkup examines the science and scientists that influenced Shelley, and inspired her most famous creation.
Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, generally known simply as Frankenstein, is a novel written by Mary Shelley. Shelley started writing when she was 18 and the novel was published when she was 21. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley's name appears on the second edition, published in 1831. The title of the novel refers to a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who learns how to create life and creates a being in the likeness of man, but larger than average and more powerful. In popular culture, people have tended incorrectly to refer to the monster as "Frankenstein". Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. It was also a warning against the expansion of modern man in the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in the novel's subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. The story has had an influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. It is often considered the first fully realised science fiction novel due to its pointed, if gruesome, focus on playing God by creating life from dead flesh. (wikipedia)
When a young Englishman by the name of Aubrey meets the mysterious new arrival in London society Lord Ruthven, the two embark on a trip to Rome. They are soon separated, only to meet once again at the scene of what appears to be a vampire attack in Greece. John William Polidori (1795 – 1821) was an English physician and writer most famous for writing this book, which is widely acknowledged as being the first modern vampire story. It was originally and erroneously attributed to Lord Byron, but both Byron and Polidori confirmed that the story is Polidori's. “The Vampyre” will appeal to lovers of horror and macabre fiction, and it is not to be missed by the discerning collector. Other notable works by this author include: “Cajetan” (1816), “Boadicea” (1816), and “On the Punishment of Death” (1816). Many vintage books such as this are increasingly scarce and expensive. It is with this in mind that we are republishing this volume now in an affordable, modern, high-quality edition complete with the original text and artwork.
Mary Shelley's deceptively simple story of Victor Frankenstein and the creature he brings to life, first published in 1818, is now more widely read—and more widely discussed by scholars—than any other work of the Romantic period. From the creature's creation to his wild lament over the dead body of his creator in the Arctic wastes, the story retains its narrative hold on the reader even as it spins off ideas in rich profusion. Macdonald and 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. Macdonald and Scherf have now revised and updated their introduction, notes and bibliography, and have added new documents (including a review of Frankenstein by Percy Shelley).
Originally written as a response to a challenge from Lord Byron? Frankenstein still haunts our minds with images of the dead brought back to hideous life. Mary Shelley's nineteenth-century masterpiece begins with a fateful rescue in the Arctic and slowly evolves into a gripping story of horror'a contest of wills between Victor Frankenstein and the monster he creates. Wandering through Europe? the confused creature searches for a father figure in the tortured scientist who stitched him together with body parts stolen from the grave. Themes of revenge? the philosophical limits of science? and forbidden knowledge are deeply explored in the greatest Gothic novel ever written. This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary and reader's notes to help the modern reader contend with Shelley's complex vocabulary and references.
The original 1818 text of Mary Shelley's classic novel, with annotations and essays highlighting its scientific, ethical, and cautionary aspects. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has endured in the popular imagination for two hundred years. Begun as a ghost story by an intellectually and socially precocious eighteen-year-old author during a cold and rainy summer on the shores of Lake Geneva, the dramatic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his stitched-together creature can be read as the ultimate parable of scientific hubris. Victor, “the modern Prometheus,” tried to do what he perhaps should have left to Nature: create life. Although the novel is most often discussed in literary-historical terms—as a seminal example of romanticism or as a groundbreaking early work of science fiction—Mary Shelley was keenly aware of contemporary scientific developments and incorporated them into her story. In our era of synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, robotics, and climate engineering, this edition of Frankenstein will resonate forcefully for readers with a background or interest in science and engineering, and anyone intrigued by the fundamental questions of creativity and responsibility. This edition of Frankenstein pairs the original 1818 version of the manuscript—meticulously line-edited and amended by Charles E. Robinson, one of the world's preeminent authorities on the text—with annotations and essays by leading scholars exploring the social and ethical aspects of scientific creativity raised by this remarkable story. The result is a unique and accessible edition of one of the most thought-provoking and influential novels ever written. Essays by Elizabeth Bear, Cory Doctorow, Heather E. Douglas, Josephine Johnston, Kate MacCord, Jane Maienschein, Anne K. Mellor, Alfred Nordmann