Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

Frankenstein at 200 . .


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. . and why Mary Shelley was far more than the sum of her monster’s parts.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus was published anonymously 200 years ago in January, 1818. It has since become the most analysed and contested novel of all time . . first in a line of seven novels that she published across three decades.

It may be the one for which we now celebrate Shelley, but all of her works reveal an assertion of women’s rights to create as authors and artists, associating these rights with a calm pursuit of knowledge. Shelley, author of Frankenstein, cautious supporter of scientific advancement, was much, much more than the sum of the parts of her first monster.


Frankenstein, or the beauty and terror of science
Henk van den Belt

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