Thursday, February 8, 2018

200 Years Later, We’re Still Learning from Frankenstein: The 1818 Text


It’s the bicentennial of the publication of Mary Shelley’s first novel, a novel that has been translated to television and film more than any others – 177, as of October 2017. And yet, those who have not sat down with the original version, written by Mary Shelley when she was between sixteen and eighteen, and published when she was twenty, will have little idea of the real story of Frankenstein. The gothic novel was the product of a famous challenge among Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John William Polidori, and Mary Godwin, who was not yet married to Shelley. Byron challenged all of them over a weekend to write a scary tale. Out of that weekend, Polidori wrote The Vampyre, the original vampire novel, and Mary, unable to come up with anything over the weekend, worked on Frankenstein for a year. Full article here.