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Book Overview: Frankenstein

'That rare story to pass from literature into myth' The New York Times

Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley on Lake Geneva. The story of Victor Frankenstein who, obsessed with creating life itself, plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, but whose botched creature sets out to destroy his maker, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity. Based on the third edition of 1831, this volume contains all Mary Shelley's revisions to her story, and also includes 'A Fragment' by Lord Byron and Dr John Polidori's 'The Vampyre: A Tale'.

Edited with an Introduction and notes by MAURICE HINDLE

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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, born on August 30, 1797, was a powerful force in 19th century literature. Emanating from a line of prominent intellectuals, she was the daughter of philosopher and political writer, William Godwin, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Unfortunately, her mother passed away shortly after her birth, inevitably casting an influential shadow on her work. Primarily educated by her father, she was ushered into the expansive world of literature and creativity early in life, cultivating a passion for writing that she nurtured into adulthood. She is most acclaimed for her iconic novel, "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus", which she penned at the age of 20. This was a groundbreaking work in the genre of Gothic literature, intertwining elements of horror and romance with a profound exploration of the human condition. The timeless tale of a scientist who creates a terrifying creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment has permeated global culture, making her one of the earliest and arguably one of the most influential contributors to science fiction. Beyond "Frankenstein", Shelley demonstrated her literary prowess through diverse bodies of work including novels, essays, and travelogues. Her personal life, marred by tragedy including the loss of several children and her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, echoed in her haunting, melancholic themes. Mary Shelley devoted her life to the power of the written word and survived numerous tragedies, leaving a legacy that significantly shifted the landscape of literature. She died on February 1, 1851, but her timeless works continue to resonate with, and inspire, readers worldwide.


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