Happy Halloween, everyone!
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheusis a classic of Science Fiction, Gothic Horror, and Romantic literature (but not romantic literature, of course). It is also very different from the story you probably know. First published in 1818, Frankenstein was always popular, though it took some time for critical opinion to catch up– there was a particularly scathing review of the book in The British Critic that ended by saying “The writer of it is, we understand, a female; this is an aggravation of that which is the prevailing fault of the novel; but if our authoress can forget the gentleness of her sex, it is no reason why we should; and we shall therefore dismiss the novel without further comment.” The review derided the book for the grotesque nature of its “disjointed combinations and unnatural adventures”, and expressing just how horrifying the book is, object to the wicked and immoral actions of its protagonist.
Of course, that’s the entire point, but they seem to have missed that.
Today, we’re going to go over the content, context, and themes of the book, and how they have grown into what we know of the story today.