Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (1797-1851), later Mary Shelley, devised this Gothic novel in 1816 while staying at Lake Geneva with Lord Byron, John Polidori, Claire Clairmont and her future husband Percy Bysshe Shelley. Byron proposed that the group should write ghost stories. The text was penned at a time when scientists were investigating the possibility of regenerating corpses with electricity. Victor Frankenstein’s attempts to reanimate a dead body have tragic consequences. Mary Shelley’s creature is not innately evil, but becomes malign after being rejected by his creator and by society. Over the years there have been numerous adaptations for theatre and film, and the work has achieved iconic status.

Mary Shelley
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The Modern Prometheus
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