This 1886 edition of Frankenstein was edited, with an introduction, by the Rev H R Haweis.
Haweis states his view that the plot and construction, in effect the core of the novel, are weak, but that Mary Shelley’s settings and descriptions and her ‘subtle analysis of “moods”’ redeem the work. Overall, he finds the novel weak, ‘unrelieved by any real poetic justice, and the moral thrust – if there is any – is vague and indeterminate’. Ultimately he dismisses the work as the first example of a horror-story.
Who was Haweis?
Haweis was a Victorian priest whose enthusiastic provision for his east London parish was combined with the study of music, literature and art. Haweis felt that Christianity and spiritualism were compatible, and attended séances himself.