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Frankenstein (1818 Text)

Frankenstein (1818 Text) - 93 edition

ISBN13: 978-0192833662

Cover of Frankenstein (1818 Text) 93 (ISBN 978-0192833662)
ISBN13: 978-0192833662
ISBN10: 0192833669
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 93
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published: 1993
International: No

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Frankenstein (1818 Text) - 93 edition

ISBN13: 978-0192833662

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

ISBN13: 978-0192833662
ISBN10: 0192833669
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 93
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Published: 1993
International: No
Summary

I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion. A summer evening's ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine's room, and arun away imagination -- fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life -- conspired to produce for Mary Shelley this hauntingnight specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, Frankenstein. Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley's novel of "The Modern Prometheus" chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.

Frankenstein was Mary Shelley's immensely powerful contribution to the ghost stories which she, Percy Shelley, and Byron devised one wet summer in Switzerland. Its protagonist is a young student of natural philosophy, who learns the secret of imparting life to a creature constructed from relics of the dead, with horrific consequences. Frankenstein confronts some of the most feared innovations of evolutionism: topics such as degeneracy, hereditary disease, and mankind's status as a species of animal. The text used here is from the 1818 edition, which is a mocking expose of leaders and achievers who leave desolation in their wake, showing humanity its choice -- to live co-operatively or to die of selfishness. It is also a black comedy, and harder and wittier than the 1831 version with which we are more familiar.

Suspenseful and thrilling, this literary masterpiece raised the complex contemporary question -- how far should science go to alter the very basis of human life?

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