Mary Shelley : "Frankenstein", Paperback


Frankenstein, Mary Shelley's first novel, has established itself as one of modernity's most compelling and ominous myths. The story of the ambitious student of natural philosophy, who discovers the secret of life and constructs a living thing from inanimate materials, exudes an enduring fascination as an apt allegory of our own fraught relationship with the ever more complex machines we create. Skilfully conflating tradition and the individual imagination, Frankenstein poignantly captures the spirit of the early 1800s as an age of transition tragically divided between scientific progress and religious conservatism, revolutionary reform and conformist reaction.

In this Readers' Guide, Berthold Schoene-Harwood provides a detailed introduction to the most important critical debates on a novel that continues to make its mark in the realms of both 'high' literature and popular culture. The extracts and essays assembled here shed light on Frankenstein's historical and socio-political relevance, its innovative representations of science, gender and identity, as well as its problematic cultural location between academic critique and creative reproduction. Spanning secondary sources from the first reviews in 1818 to postmodern readings of the mid-1990s, the Guide represents an indispensable sourcebook for the study of one of British literature's most exciting and spectacular novels.




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