Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus is the most famous novel by Mary Shelley, wife of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. It has been done considerable damage thanks to its innovation and its author’s audacity in confronting issues of such a controversial nature as artificially creating life in the early nineteenth century. The novel was immediately enormously successful, spawning a stage production that made Frankenstein’s creation - the so-called ‘monster’ - mute for the first but not only time. The novel was published initially in 1818 although later versions exist in which the author succumbed to pressures to tone down certain elements. This is the more polished 1831 edition, which is the most common edition of the text. The original is a masterpiece of Gothic literature however. It is narrated by an explorer, Walton, who writes the story in letters home. However, the bulk of the story is told by Victor Frankenstein who narrates his own creation of a man from bones he has stolen and with the power of electricity. In the centre of the concentric circles of narrative is the creature himself, by far the most sympathetic of the narrators, who is forced by an unsympathetic world to acts of violence and cruelty and finally the murder of Frankenstein’s wife when the ‘father’ refuses to create a companion for the creature. The novel’s settings of Swiss mountains and Arctic desolation are perfect for Mary Shelley’s tale that was originally conceived abroad in the wet summer of 1816 with Byron and her husband in a night telling ghost stories. None of the narrators are wholly to be trusted or liked, but each learns from the others and their mental torment is mimicked in the ‘sublime’ or rugged and vast landscapes Shelley describes so vividly. Film adaptations and bowdlerized versions have reduced Frankenstein’s creation to a ludicrous monster and in a sense the world has reacted to the creature in precisely the way the author predicted. We look away in horror.

Table of contents
Author's Preface
Walton's Letters
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24

  By PanEris using Melati.

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